Sponsor a child in Ukraine
Ukraine is Europe's second-largest country. Since independence from the Soviet Union 1991, Ukraine has suffered ongoing economic crisis. Today, families fall into poverty in the face of rising food prices, growing unemployment and a buckling welfare system. We are there to support the most vulnerable.
Many children in Ukraine lose their parents to poverty, sickness and addiction. You can help give a child a new home by sponsoring with SOS Children today:
Dire living standards and HIV/AIDS crisis
Ukraine has Europe's lowest life expectancy, at just over 68 years. This is the result of a host of social ills, from smoking, drinking and poor diets, to pollution and inadequate healthcare. Work is hard to come by too. Joblessness stands at 9.2%, with youth unemployment above 17%. Ukraine has Europe's highest HIV/AIDS rate, with prevalence above that of some sub-Saharan African countries, including Niger and Somalia. Many people suffer as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, which contaminated 8% of the country.
On the brink of economic crisis
With economic hardship worsening following the political crisis of 2013-14, the cost of living is sky-rocketing, with some food prices double what they were before the crisis. More than a third of the population lives in poverty, a figure that looks certain to rise.
Families on the edge
Ill health and poverty mean that many parents cannot look after their children. HIV/AIDS means that some parents die or become critically ill while their children are still young. Single mothers often suffer discrimination, and some abandon their children. Addiction to drink and drugs is common in Ukraine.
Inadequate care system damages children
Children from all of these households face a greater risk of poverty in later life. Many end up in a care system made up of old-fashioned institutions which often cause further damage to vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Our Work in Ukraine
We began helping vulnerable Ukrainian families in 2003, when we began work in the Podol district of the capital Kiev. We provided food for the poorest families, often those made up of a single parent. We also helped young people at risk of HIV/AIDS at a time when drug use was on the increase.
Today, we help children and families in two locations: Brovary, near Kiev, and Lugansk, in the east.
Our SOS Children's Village in Brovary opened in 2010. Just 16 miles from the centre of Kiev, our Children's Village provides care for children who can no longer live with their families. Our children are cared for by a devoted SOS mother as part of an SOS family. Today, we look after more than 78 children in Brovary. We also run two SOS Social Centres, one in Brovary and another in Kiev itself. Here, local families benefit from a range of support specially designed to help them grow strong and provide a happy upbringing for their children.
In late 2013, we opened a second Children's Village in the city of Lugansk. Lugansk is the administrative centre of the district (or “oblast”) of the same name, which is the most easterly region in the country and borders Russia. Here, SOS mothers provide a loving home for the area's most vulnerable children, while we support over 150 fragile families in the community. In spring 2014, Lugansk found itself in the grip of violence as Ukraine's political conflict became centred in the country's east. In June, SOS families from Lugansk moved out of the city and we are providing homes for them in the local area with the help local agencies. We are monitoring the situation to ensure families remain safe and will bring you updates as soon as possible.
SOS Children's Villages Ukraine, Charitable Organisation
B. Gmyri Str., 8-B
Tel: +380 44 232 9581
Fax: +380 44 232 9581