Comments: 496 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

XDeus413 karma

I would love to donate, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I am skeptical of how the donations will be spent. Everyone has heard of the rampant corruption in Ukraine and Russia. How can we be sure that the donations will be used solely for the children?

Ukraine_Orphans184 karma

Thank you. That is a good question.

We try our best, and on Indiegogo campaign we put "perks" in a way that you can know about the children directly. Also, you can get in touch with us through mail. We have monthly budget preparation which we may send to you. And best of all, we would love it if you could visit us as well! Our children will be very happy to see you and receive a guest!

On another note - We have a bigger picture as well. Rather than relying on government and waiting for some change to happen, we have decided it's time to move on to bigger picture.

We want to develop a consortium of orphanages in Ukraine, and strengthen their support and alliance with foreign humanitarian and education bodies - this is the future of our country, and we want to help them live in a free, liberal society.

YaDunGoofed49 karma

Furthermore, how will you make sure that your funds do not get raided again?

Ukraine_Orphans49 karma

We're not going to be applying government license - we're going autonomous. Also, we'll be doing monthly updates on budget accessible publicly.

Budget was never a problem for us, except at the end when a politician didn't hesitate to raid even orphan children's funds...

Unoriginal_Man19 karma

My nephew was adopted from your orphanage almost 8 years ago. I'm sorry to hear of the hardships you've encountered, and will do what I can to help!

Ukraine_Orphans11 karma

Oh, please give her our warm hug and 'hi!' :)

cookiecatgirl25 karma

Have you thought about having the kids get child penpals, perhaps at an English speaking school? Could also be beneficial to begin a relationship with educators.

Also, you say to come visit: make sure to screen visitors... You probably do, I am sure, but there are people on Reddit and elsewhere who might take advantage of children.

Ukraine_Orphans21 karma

Yes, of course! We just mentioned this to several people here. Our kids actually love it, and it'd be a great thing. In fact /u/Archiduke5 is the only foreigner around them so they're glad. Right now we're seeking shelter and solving these issues of food and education, but this interaction with foreigner thing is on our priority.

We wish to have Skype chats, and maybe souvenirs-paintings exchange etc. and penpals for our children.

Brandish_your_Septim213 karma

If a potato salad party can garner tens of thousands of dollars over at kickstarter.. Then I pray, for the sake of humanity, that you reach your goal. Good luck to you.

Also, consider providing more proof and more photos so that those that are considering donating, have an intimate understanding as to how their money will be used.

Ukraine_Orphans54 karma

Thank you. We really pray that we gather the funds since we have much less time, and we have been running to all the major cities in Ukraine for this, but to no avail.

I mentioned the issue of accountability in another post here. We have certain other proofs, but we are afraid to post them since they contain the deputy's name...

MobSpec22 karma

Could more pictures of the building and general area be posted, I'm sure that'd relieve some of the feats plus makes things more tangible.

Ukraine_Orphans3 karma

http://lifenews.ru/news/135933 There is a video here which outlines pretty much how our building and beloved home looks now...

bobthebobd39 karma

What are the ages of children in the orphanage?

Ukraine_Orphans50 karma

All age groups but mostly younger children: We have biggest group of 7-13 year olds - it's a time when they require much care and concern.

Geekmonster41 karma

How easy is it for a British couple like us adopt an orphan? (My wife is from Rivne region - I would ask her to research it, but I want to see the details on here.)

Ukraine_Orphans34 karma

We'll be so happy!

We are changing our license, so the process would differ now. Do you mind if I request you to PM your email or any contact information regarding this?

Geekmonster28 karma

Yes, I can do that. But can you explain the process here, please?

Ukraine_Orphans11 karma

Please tell me the age-group that you're looking for?

Geekmonster9 karma

I'm not too fussy about the age.


Ukraine_Orphans13 karma

Firstly, you can only adopt children below 5 years of age if they have serious disease. In general, adoption in Ukraine, there is a lot of bureaucracy involved, and the best and fastest option to do this is:

To prepare your documents - passport, financial documents, health, marriage, birth certificates, salary slip, education certificates, residence proof etc, and come to Ukraine

Adopting from Ukraine is unique in that parents are not matched with a specific child, and can select only from few choices they are offered. It takes a long time actually. Your documents undergo verification and certification, and will be reviewed by Family and Children Ministry and takes a month to get an answer. After that they give you appointment for a specific date and you'll be given 3-6 variants of children. After you have selected a child that you think could a good match for your family, arrangements are made for you to travel to the region in which the child lives. When you arrive at the orphanage, you are allowed a brief interaction with the child. Then further review process - where you either accept or reject the child. There are further compelxities involved but this is the gist I tried to explain.

All in all I'd suggest you identify a particular age and gender first, be prepared to spend lots of time in the process, get in touch with us and then prepare all your documents and arrive here.

6F6A9O99 karma

I too would like to see the adoption process outlined here. It would be very informative to everyone concerned with your orphanage.

Ukraine_Orphans4 karma

please at least outline the age, gender of the kid etc. That'd make me easier to address your questions.

jubaxor29 karma

I have been to Ukrainian orphanages in 2012 and our team and I visited many in Lviv, Kiev, and Kharkiv. Our church also sent teams in 2013 with supplies, toys, and monetary support. Unfortunately I cannot remember what the names of the orphanages were. This is sad to hear, and I wish you the best, I hope you are able to find funds to rebuild the shelter. Some pictures of the orphanage and the kids

Where is your primary funding from? Do you believe corruption and this whole situation can be resolved without a split Ukraine?

Ukraine_Orphans16 karma

Thank you. We hope you contribute and spread the word.

I posted this answer elsewhere:

Our primary funding was through the government channels. But now - We do not exist in Slavyansk anymore, and deputy in-charge has grabbed more than $42,600 preserved for our children in accounts - one scholarship fund, one livelihood fund, and another emergency fund.

We complained about it to the court - amid the conflict, but judiciary process works slowly and of course it isn't fair. We knew the answer already. Money disappeared.

On July 15th afternoon, we were given a cancellation of our license from Slavyansk. Although legally we could go and move to another city and establish children's home there. But we do not want to do that under government undertaking, having seen the blatant corruption and facing misery.

Now we want to establish ourselves independent/autonomous children's home, and form alliance with major children's homes in Ukraine and organizations in other countries for better future of our children.

beaglemama5 karma

Our primary funding was through the government channels. But now - We do not exist in Slavyansk anymore, and deputy in-charge has grabbed more than $42,600 preserved for our children in accounts - one scholarship fund, one livelihood fund, and another emergency fund.

We complained about it to the court - amid the conflict, but judiciary process works slowly and of course it isn't fair. We knew the answer already. Money disappeared.

What about finding someone powerful outside the courts to help? Would the local mafyia be willing to help? Even if they needed a fee to cover their expenses, at least you'd get some of the money back.

Ukraine_Orphans6 karma

In times of instability, people are less prone to do charity and spend money... sadly.

Actually we were able to arrange the current shelter for our kids through good connections with few people only. Also, we've had one local businessman who offered to help us a little, but then suddenly he emigrated to Moscow, previous week.

We lost all hopes and then came to know about what is crowdfunding and Reddit website and that is now the only hope.

dux_bellorum23 karma

Why is there a seal of "AIESEC in Kharkov" under the letter where you call the Ukrainian troops "Nazi" (literally "punishers") ?

Ukraine_Orphans6 karma

They're a youth organization and helped us release the press-release for shelling on our orphanage. Secondly, we have a Ukrainian Military checkpoint near our orphanage and shells and mortars actually came from there. Troops although said it was accidental - in any case it costed us too heavily.

dux_bellorum20 karma

So, why are you making a press-release under that youth organization name, not under your orphanage name? What happened to the orphanage seal?

Ukraine_Orphans2 karma

We do not exist in Slavyansk anymore, and deputy in-charge has grabbed more than $42,600 preserved for our children in accounts - one scholarship fund, one livelihood fund, and another emergency fund.

We complained about it to the court - amid the conflict, but judiciary process works slowly and of course it isn't fair. We knew the answer already. Money disappeared.

On July 15th afternoon, we were given a cancellation of our license from Slavyansk. Although legally we could go and move to another city and establish children's home there. But we do not want to do that under government undertaking, having seen the blatant corruption and facing misery.

Now we want to establish ourselves independent/autonomous children's home, and form alliance with major children's homes in Ukraine and organizations in other countries for better future of our children.

WeepingAngel_22 karma

How the hell do we know this is legitimate and not some attempt to scam $60,000 plus out of reddit?

Ukraine_Orphans6 karma

We don't know how to address it, I think if one does not want to believe - they can always find some error or problems?

One person, for example, asked why we do not have a website even, while another said, why are we going to have a website at all?

All evidence etc probably can doctored. We're here with a fair cause, and trust. We happily invite anybody coming to Ukraine to us as well, and we also want to arrange Skype chats etc with children.

dsmdylan13 karma

To /u/Archduke5 - are the administrators of the orphanage somewhere that you could visit and take photo proof with them? That would probably go a long way.

Ukraine_Orphans5 karma

I'd definitely do it. They actually have some more photos but not with them right right now (it's 03:12 AM here), and I'll post them here, photos of admins and lovely kids especially in a dance competition they had few months ago, and update the post.

dsmdylan12 karma

Can you explain why your orphanage license was cancelled by Slavyansk? Have other orphanages been cancelled as well?

Ukraine_Orphans3 karma

It is a complex question. Our local deputy is among such person for whom war means business. And he basically has grabbed money from our orphanage, and from some businesses as well. He is basically a mafia.

Our licence was cancelled, but there are number of factors here. Firstly, Your building is lost and all resources are crippled - how should you show that you can support 116 children?

Secondly, when the residence of these children is destroyed, your licence is 'paused'. That is a standard procedure.

Thirdly, Deputies and bureaucrats did not spare the savings, scholarship and emergency funds for the children even. We went into court battle, only to lose since he used his influence and power.

We decided it was enough - and actually there was nothing else which we could do about it. Government regulations in Ukraine regarding orphanages are just like other "government regulations" here, full of corruption where officers expect 'chocolates' and 'gifts' even when everything is properly done.

Now we seek to be autonomous completely, in a new city, and are focusing our energy into collaborating with schools here for further education/transfer of kids, and securing crowdfunding through Indiegogo for shelter,food etc for our children.

portwhatnow9 karma


Ukraine_Orphans9 karma

They are, sometimes, sensationalist. But that is probably what the journalism is like. At least they do not try to bend the facts from their own way, it seems they are good enough to understand local scenario.

Etaghrag8 karma

I would like to donate. My only hesitation is that, that the money will be lost in corruption. I am sorry as this question was asked before (the very first question) but I did not find the answer very clear :). Does Infdiegogo pay directly to you? Or does it have to go through any government channels?

Ukraine_Orphans10 karma

  • It pays directly to us through bank account

  • After a successful funding, we want to have a website where we upload drawings, paintings, poems etc by children, and also our budget and details monthly. In English language, included.

  • Also, if you chose to be a patron, then we'll arrange that you can talk to the child almost whenever you want, freely.

  • And interaction with foreigners, like we mentioned at other places. Through Skype chat, and maybe if you ever arrive in Ukraine. Probably nothing much, but an indicator that you can see how they're doing.

daddydeaner7 karma


Ukraine_Orphans8 karma

Yes, it does. I would say that this is probably a problem everywhere - orphans have a tough time dealing with life and proper career choices because of lack of a guiding person.

I'm proud to say that at our place, we did not have any drug or crime incidents, which I'd believe is a feat in itself. But we want our children to be equipped with better skills and personality.

/u/Archiduke5 helped us connect with and negotiated with an IT-training institute here, and a dance institute, and they both agreed to teach our 12+ children programming, and young kids dancing for a negligible fee. We'll start it from September onward, and I hope we'll have a shelter before that.

Probably it's nothing too big, but we are trying to bring such positive changes.

MobSpec4 karma

I just donated, just a question:can we respond to the letters we receive? I'd love to stay in touch with some of the kids, it'd give me something to look forward to :)

Ukraine_Orphans2 karma

Sure! We would love it if you could communicate with our kids. They'd be so happy!

They love foreign countries - we have one 6-year old girl and she tells she wants to be a Hollywood star :)

nm1723 karma

What are your thoughts on Ukrainian orphans being moved to Russia?


Ukraine_Orphans14 karma

As strange as it might sound - We're happy, if the children are happy. It's better to move away from war-torn areas, at least they are alive and healthy.

jax_jaguars322 karma


Ukraine_Orphans5 karma

Oh definitely! We'd love it. Though we need a place first, and that's why this campaign. We really wish this to successfully happen, and establish our new home quickly.

Actually, I'd encourage anybody coming to Ukraine to get in touch! Our children love to practice English, and if you speak it, that'd be wonderful for them.

We've many 12+ aged kids as well, and they're very motivated. You can also go on an excursion with them, where they will show around the city, and you can talk about where you're from and your country and culture.

redditwentdownhill2 karma

Is there no help from the Red Cross or UN?

Ukraine_Orphans2 karma

Red Cross is helping the wounded from Donbass region. Our children are fortunately not wounded, but they're fragile and need care. We personally went to some doctors here and asked for help - so they keep check up on your younger kids.

bleepbloop123451 karma

  • 1.) What are your views on the conflict? Was it primarily caused by Russia or the EU and what role did America play?

  • 2.) How can the conflict be de-escalated now and/or stopped?

Ukraine_Orphans27 karma

We are angry, and we want to highlight this. We're angry because our government and politicians did not even think of these children's lives during this conflict - even after it was destroyed. One of the deputies, who I will not name, especially grabbed our funds even. And our poor children suffer. Russia and EU are foreign governments, but at least our governments and politicians could think of NOT doing the corruption at war-time, at least not with these poor children without any support.

I think Ukraine should be with EU, but I do not see this happening because there are many loopholes in our country - particularly, economically, legally and politically. Ukraine needs to be sincere - pay its gas bills, and restructure its politics and economics. Too much corruption.

Around us, the separatism is strong. Yes, there is a support for it around what I see. For 20 years Ukrainian government has economically neglected the Donbass region, and only has been grabbing resources. People are fed up and want to use this instability condition in country to secede and join Russia.

We wish Poroshenko could do a ceasefire and talk separatists directly. Also, Kiev government should allocate funds and budget more properly and fairly to the regions.

veritanuda1 karma

I have friends in Ukraine and was in Donetsk this past November. I could never have dreamed what has happened, happening then and with my friends we shocked beyond belief at the way things have been twisted and played in the media. At least 800 civilians are dead now and many are homeless and frightened :(

Can I ask, how are the children coping? I mean it is bad enough to be uprooted and dumped somewhere unfamiliar but have you and your team managed to stay together and able to give some continuity for them? Did you manage to evacuate some of the toys and personal artifacts of the children with you?

Good luck and thanks for doing this IAmA!

Ukraine_Orphans5 karma

Our children are the best! :) No seriously, I could never believe myself that they could be so strong and courageous.

We've moved to another city where children are staying at university hostels. It's hard for us to arrange everything, and harder for these young kids to cope with new surrounding. But they are able to do that. Additionally it is very hot here, so this is a particular problem with the young kids.

We were successful at least in sending children away right before the shelling occurred, but some of their possessions could not be sent away... Their toys, personal artifacts, diaries... it hurts to see that these children did not have much to play with, and whatever was there was also destroyed.

Two days ago, 9 of our members gathered around 900 UAH ($75) from our own savings funds for an excursion for children, to relieve them from stress. They were quite happy with that :)

veritanuda3 karma

Ahh well that is something at least and yes I hear the weather has been very hot lately. Well I am glad at least they are safe and in a place where at least you can organise things.

May I ask how many of you are there running the orphanage? I saw 3 people in the Lifenews report but I assume you have other people either part time or full time. It'd be cool if you have a picture of the whole team to show :)

Ukraine_Orphans4 karma


Our staff gathers on eve of Independence day in Ukraine. (24th August) Please PM your email and we'll send it to you. Or actually, we are thinking of having website sometime soon, so we can also post there.
One gentleman here offered us to help with website.

Some of them are in Kiev, and Donetsk though to finish up with bureaucratic hurdles. Also, we are in touch with few youth organizations to have some part-time people working with us. They're free for now, so at least we have people who can watch over the kids.

couldntfindacoolname1 karma

Does it mean that you will have to spend money on building website? I hope someone can volunteer to build one for you.

Ukraine_Orphans2 karma

Yes, a gentleman here offered to host and build it for free. We're very glad with that :)

AnotherPint-8 karma

You've got lives to save and your priority is to build a website? Explain?

Ukraine_Orphans2 karma

Actually one gentleman here offered to do it for us for free, we're happy and delighted by such offer.

Our priority is to save and help their lives. Like I mentioned, we want to secure funding and after that have a website as well.

It'd be a great motivation for both of us:

  • for you, since some people asked if you have a website, which we don't.

  • and for our children, they'd see it's website of the place where they live, and they could be there. Maybe include their poems, and drawings etc.

Moderatecalf-9 karma

What are your thoughts on stripping Russia of the 2018 World Cup?

Ukraine_Orphans9 karma

Firstly, we wish this IamA to be less political and more about solving issues in the country, with the people and the ground realities in Ukraine rather than this political and diplomatic wrestling where poor, innocent kids are becoming victims.

And to highlight again, we seek contribution for our beloved children who have been forced to become homeless. Please help our Indiegogo campaign, we humbly request.

Stripping Russia of World Cup will have such an effect as well, there are people working and hoping for this event to happen there - I don't see a valid reason for why to do it.

InTupacWeTrust-10 karma

Wow, just terrible! Do you see the Middle Eastern conflict getting better any time soon in the future and what do you think needs to be done to finally have peace over there?

Ukraine_Orphans9 karma

Honestly and sincerely, we know about middle eastern conflict but it doesn't make sense to look outside when your own home is getting bombed. I hope it doesn't sound selfish to say - but for us, development and peace starts first by helping these children live a good life, and be better, educated citizens. We hope there are such people in Middle East as well, who would work towards peace and development in the region.

madhousechild-10 karma

With all the Americans desperate to adopt, how can the Ukraine even have an orphanage?

Ukraine_Orphans16 karma

I am not sure how to answer this question. We have lots of children here in Ukraine, and the bureaucratic hurdles can be a nightmare for some to continue with adoption.

Also, most of the foreigners go to big cities like Moscow in Russia, or Kiev in Ukraine - rather than coming to a village, despite us having a big orphanage.

Bierklapper-14 karma

What did you do to MH17?

Ukraine_Orphans6 karma

They're also victims... prayed for them...