Combatting Homelessness. 6-7 November 2013, - a graduate of the orphanage, and now the volunteer of the Orphans’ Future Foundation, Olexiy Sisterov (28), took part in national conference "Social innovation in the fight against homelessness". This problem is acute among the orphan graduates; therefore, the participation of Olexiy was necessary to learn about the situation and how to find solutions to the problem of homelessness in Ukraine. The event was held in the city of L’viv and was organized by the NGO “Narodna Dopomoga” (National Help), which for several years has been involved in addressing the issue of homelessness.
The purpose of the conference was to share experiences, to discuss professional social work with the homeless, cooperation with local authorities and involved about 60 representatives of NGOs and charitable organizations from all over Ukraine. The participants of the conference also proposed to develop a system of social protection of homeless citizens at the national level with the Ministry of Social policy of Ukraine. During the meeting a manual, concerning social work with the homeless, (as experienced in Chernovtsy), was presented to each participant.
Homelessness is particularly a problem of orphan graduates, affecting approximately 70% of the orphan graduates of boarding schools, which urgently needs to be addressed. The Orphans' Future organization makes quarterly written applications to the regional and local authorities to attempt to find some solutions to the housing problems by a joint decision. However despite promises of action, little is being done to help and many orphan graduates become homeless, sick and eventually die at a young age. Orphans' Future organization continues to press for answers to this growing problem.
Orphans visited Ternopil City Council
On November 7, 2013, for the first time in the history orphans of boarding schools visited a state institution, namely the building of the Ternopil City Council. This informative tour was initiated by the Orphans’ Future organization and was financially supported by the City Council of Ternopil and conducted by the Deputy, Mr. Maxim Cherkashin. The children were interested in what the City Council is, its functions and tasks, who manages it and what monthly wages were paid to the deputies. Most of the children did not know anything about the city Council or even who is the Mayor of the city. Many took pictures and later answered questions about the city Council and received encouraging gifts. Such tours are an important element in the education of children and expand their horizons. Maybe some of them wish to work in similar authorities in the future or even become Mayor?
Working trip to the Netherlands
From November 23 to 28 2013, three volunteers of the Orphans' Future organization: Olena Bagan, Vasily Hrinkiv and Andriy Nazarenko visited the Netherlands on a working mission. The trip was organized on invitation of partners WALO and SKA, from the town of Achterveld. Accommodation and meals during the stay were kindly provided by the family Gerard and Anne van Dijk.
During the working meetings, the Chairman of the Fund presented the activities of the organization and the achievements of orphans and graduates of orphanages. In turn, representatives of the Netherlands expressed their gratitude for the longstanding cooperation between young people from Ukraine during the implementation of summer camps for orphans. In addition, our volunteers helped to prepare the Christmas fair: painted fairy-tale characters, handed over to the Ukrainian national Souvenirs, and all in order to collect donations for a continued support of orphaned children in period of summer holidays next year.
The company SKA gave the long-awaited 36 computers to orphanages of Ternopil region, but delays in receiving the computers was caused by the Ukrainian State Customs in the process of recognition of the cargo of humanitarian aid. As a result donated computers are in Poland and can not be transported to the territory of Ukraine at the moment.
In addition to working the moment, the volunteers had the opportunity to see the city of Amsterdam, the farms, and the main European culture and infrastructure. All were happy and we are grateful to all who supported this trip financially: Ms. Cora White (USA), Mr. Oleg Ivanovich (Czech Republic), Roger Kovacini (Ternopil).