Forgotten Children of Ukraine
There are many street kids in Ukraine. Many of them are orphans of living parents — they prefer the streets to the abuse and neglect at home.
Young children spend many hours wandering the streets and even sleeping in the sewer tunnels.
These tunnels have large hot water pipes running through them to supply hot water to apartment buildings, homes, and businesses. The hot water running through the pipes keeps the tunnel warmer so the children spend many nights sleeping on cardboard pallets on top of the pipes.
Due to the damp, dirty conditions, the children are susceptible to communicable diseases like TB.
In the summertime, the children spend time at the Dnieper River swimming and playing. Some of them beg enough money to take a bus to Crimea. Since it’s a beautiful vacation spot, they are able to get enough money from visitors to buy food.
There are many of these forgotten children throughout Ukraine. Some are orphans, some orphans of living parents. Abuse and neglect cause the children to leave home.
They learn to fade into the background and many people, even those living in Ukraine, don’t realize how pervasive this problem is.
Doxa Kids Street Children’s Ministry(www.doxakids.org) based in Odessa, Texas works with a Kherson, Ukraine resident, Galina Kuleshova, to reach the street children and ensure they have food and clothing.
Galina’s heart broke for the street children when she noticed a young man lying on the steps in cold winter. She started to touch him and another child told her he’d already died.
Because of this encounter, Galina has dedicated her life to helping these children. More information about the work Galina does for these children can be found here: http://streetchildrenkherson.wordpress.com/how-it-started/ Or on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/StreetchildrenkhersonUkraine
After visiting Kherson with Doxa Kids, our lives were forever changed.
Shortly after we returned, I wrote an article in JPG Magazine about the forgotten children. It has some of the children’s personal stories. The figures quoted in the article were given to us by the people who work with the children.
Please check out the links and keep these children in your prayers.