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Orphan Graduate Program in Ukraine

These young graduates have no one to teach them how to function independently, help them find a place to live, or encourage and support them through school. One of the biggest difficulties for a graduate is knowing whom they can trust. Sadly, many of them do not trust anyone because of their past experiences, and they end up involved in crime, on drugs or in prison.

Orphan Outreach began its orphan graduate program in January 2009 in Russia. The experience we had working in Russia led us to LifePoint Church and the development of the graduate program, Alpha Life, in Ukraine. The Alpha Life team works with the directors of the orphanages, and with children they have known through their time in the orphanages, to determine who will enter the program. Alpha Life staff members spend time with each child and assess their individual needs, desires and personal situations in order to make a plan for them. The case manager, staff and our volunteers help the graduates learn how to live independently which starts by finding a place to live or transitioning to a vocational school or college. The team helps them understand how to shop for food, prepare food, manage their finances, communicate effectively with others and work through their legal rights as an orphan. They need help with decision-making regarding finances to meet both their daily needs and their long-term living situations. Often, the graduates are behind in school and need tutoring. The staff and volunteers are there to provide the emotional, spiritual and physical help that they need. Alpha Life also involves the local church in mentoring these children and walking alongside them to teach them how to face every day and every problem with the hope of Christ.

Orphan Graduate Urgent Needs Assistance 

The graduates have so many urgent needs: food, clothing (especially warm), shoes, hygiene items, tutors, support for tuition and school supplies, apartment repairs and furniture. Many of them have had no dental care and they often need medical care as well. As an orphan graduate, they typically receive a room from the government in a communal apartment which means living with other orphan graduates they do not know. These rooms can be in terribly unsafe condition and are often unlivable.

Orphan Outreach provides the financial resources to help the graduates renovate their apartments and provide supplies, furniture and household items for their apartments. We also provide for urgent needs like medicine, clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, medical care and dental care. 

Click here to learn how you can support our Graduates.

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  • Capital - Kiev
  • Size/Area – 233,062 sq miles
  • Population – 44.5 million
  • Time Zone - 8 hours ahead of CST
  • Language(s) –Ukrainian
  • Currency – Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)
  • Type of Government – Unitary Republic
  • Current Leader - President Petro Poroshenko
  • Compulsory Education - 6 to 17 years
  • Literacy - 99%
  • Religion - Eastern Orthodox
  • Is the country worst affected by HIV/AIDS in Europe. Highest HIV prevalence in all of Europe and Central Asia.  Most at risk are adolescents.
  • Over 96,000 children live in institutions, ranging in age from newborns to 18 year olds.
  • An orphan's average life expectancy is less than 30 years.
  • At age 15 to 18, children are forced to leave the orphanages (emancipated) with little or no formal schooling, very limited life skills, and no one to turn to for assistance.
  • Within the first year of leaving the orphanage, over 50% are involved in prostitution or crime, another 30% are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and another 10% commit suicide.