Did you know that approximately 106,000 children in Ukraine live without parental care, in institutional residential facilities?
Sadly, only 8% of these children will have the chance to be adopted into a loving family, as the rest of them lack official orphan status and the legal rights for adoption or wardship.
What then is the fate of the remaining 92% of these children who have no hope of being raised in a loving family?
Mentoring is the only real possibility for these children to grow and develop in a caring community.
It is for this reason that we created One Hope in 2009, a mentoring project developed in cooperation with the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children’s Rights.
A mentor is an adult who can be a friend to a child or teenager and, through close relationships, positively influence a child’s development. Mentors educate the children to cooperate with others and to avoid and resolve conflicts. They also help the children to discover their interests and future career, and support in job search and financial management.
In short, a mentor can teach everything that a young person may need for a successful life of independence.
We believe that mentoring has the potential to make a significant positive difference in Ukrainian society by decreasing crime, the number of illegitimate children, and the number of citizens depending on social benefits.
Mentoring is so effective that the Ukrainian parliament has legalised mentoring programs as an efficient way to provide support for children in institutions.
Our goal is to train as many voluntary mentors as possible to provide every child in Ukrainian institutions with an adult friend.
Click here to join the One Hope mentoring program, or to learn more.
Read more by Taras Dombrovskiy