Helping orphans in Ukraine: Orphans lives, a helping hand for a better future - UT Special
Opinion12:35 Aug. 30, 2016

Orphans lives, a helping hand for a better future - UT Special

Canadian non-profit charitable initiative, Help Us Help The Children, continues helping orphans in Ukraine

UT sits down with Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj, founder and coordinator of the charitable organization 'Help Us Help The Children' and the charitable fund 'Nove Pokolinnya', to talk about how her projects have been helping orphans from all over Ukraine for the past 23 years since the founding of the organization.

The charitable organization 'Help Us Help The Children' (HUHTC) aims at improving the quality of life for children living in orphanages in Ukraine. It has provided almost 10,000 orphaned children with immediate aid and support since the 1990s. Each year the organization holds winter and summer camps, preparing a comprehensive life skills programs for orphans.

The organization's mission has evolved with years passing by, starting with providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian orphanages up to helping children affected by the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.

"The project started with the humanitarian aid routes in the 90s. As we progressed with the humanitarian aid, we realized that a lot of children require more than just aid, that they need mentoring, they need to learn life skills, so we created life skills programs in terms of camps in the mountains of the Ivano-Frankivsk region", Wrzesnewskyj explained.

After the camps, the organization's volunteers and coordinators continue to keep track of children's further life.

"We try to follow as many children as we can. However, once they graduate (camps), sometimes you lose track. Usually, out of ten children, we lose track of six, as statistics say. Many children that do come back, if we see they are bright stars in the sky, we try to get them on a scholarship program and make sure they complete at least four years of post-secondary education. It's a pleasure to see these children grow up, come back, and give back to the next generation", Wrzesnewskyj said.

"I think the proudest moments are when I see children that I knew they could have gone one way or the other, have taken a right step. And it was because of the camp or our support. And they come back with their families or a wife and their children and they're grateful. We have great stories and a lot of memories", the organization founder added.

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