Some days ago Ternopil charitable foundation “Caritas” together with charitable foundation “Orphans’ future” held a seminar for graduates of children’s homes “On the threshold of independent life”.
The event gathered 32 pupils from orphanages in Ternopil, Berezhany, Koropets and Nove Selo. For seven days trainers practiced with kids, helped them to acquire necessary skills for improvement of communication and solving conflicts, and together clarified what is needed for successful employment and development of motivation. Trainers presented all material in educating, actable and entertaining forms. Moreover, kids from children’s homes were able to purchase products for nutrition individually, and afterwards they prepared breakfasts, lunches and dinners with trainers. Such activities were targeted at optimization of self-sufficiency of event participants, use of own resources for fulfillment of vitally important tasks and also opening of oneself, own potential from the new side.
According to expert data, nowadays in Ukraine there are nearly 100 thousands of orphans and kids left without parental care, almost 60% of them live in children’s homes. About 90% of children-orphans can be considered as social orphans, because at the moment of formalization of orphancy they had their parents alive. More than 100 thousand Ukrainian children are brought up in disadvantaged families. 30% of families with kids in Ukraine live below the poverty line. These days nearly 100 thousand children live and work on streets.
“Growing up in Ukrainian children’s homes, kids rarely have conditions for independent development, even on basic household level: purchasing products, practical money management, cooking, good housekeeping, hygiene. In such facilities they often receive everything ready-made. And after graduation from this educational establishment the majority finds it difficult to cook food, buy quality, but not expensive food products and clothes, not to mention professional component or starting a family, creating adequate communication with unknown people,” retells Natalia Kotsyuba, coordinator on work with crisis children and youth in Caritas Ternopil.
Representatives of charitable foundation “Orphans’ future” also graduated from children’s homes; they experienced drawbacks of this type of upbringing. That’s why, these and other aspects were taken into account while planning a training “On the threshold of independent life”.
Local Caritas has been working almost 20 years with needful families, children and youth. Such work started from rendering material assistance to children-orphans, kids from crisis large and low-income families by means of clothes, shoes, food products. However, as time passed organization felt the need to provide more complex care of such individuals; and it launched medical, psychological and legal support.
Since 2006 “Mobile service on assistance to street children” has been implementing its work. The leading area of expertise is work on streets. Natalia Kotsyuba notices: “With help of such service we found children and youth who were staying on streets for different reasons. We made contact with them, clarified the reason why they were on streets, provided first medical aid. Then, since 2010 we formed a special permanent social center and have a team that includes a project manager, a psychologist, a social teacher and a social worker. Apart from direct work with kids, we enhanced interaction with their parents and cooperation with other structures that relate to problem of neglected children and youth. Furthermore, except for securing of basic needs of families and children in crisis, it is important for us to create conditions for their spiritual, creative and psycho-social development.
For the last 2 years we have been taking care of 91 families and of over 200 children and youth. First of all, we are grateful for this to our foreign donors, and also Ukrainian partners and followers of Caritas work.”
As a result of a seminar for graduates of children’s homes participants and organizers received much pleasure and many benefits. Kids were self-motivated and active, came to own decisions, made new acquaintances, and finally – had a good rest, were communicating and having fun. This time helped them to train own possibilities, try something new, become more confident in oneself and what is very important – to decrease qualms about the future.