This year they are working together with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to raise awareness. They will be holding a service in the Pecherska Lavra, one of the oldest monasteries in Ukraine and the heart of the Ukrainian Orthodox church, to pray for orphans.
Our church will be participating in the Day of Prayer for Orphans and I will be preaching on God's heart toward orphans.
While preparing for my sermon I started to write down what I knew about the plight of orphans in Ukraine and look for other statistics. Here is what I've found:
- There are around 30,000 children living in the orphanage system throughout Ukraine. Some accounts give the total number of orphans/children who have become wards of the state as closer to 100,000 but I can't verify those numbers and the 30,000 seems more accurate.
- Of these children 11% are under 7 years old, the rest are between 7-18 years old.
- Many children are abused in the orphanages, either emotionally, physically, or sexually, often by other children.
- In the orphanage system the children generally receive a subpar education, are not prepared for life outside of the orphanage, and leave the orphanage at around 16 years old to study in a technical school where they often drop out.
- After leaving the orphanage 70% of girls become involved in prostitution to survive, and 70% of boys commit crimes to survive and end up in the prison system.
- 1 in 6 commit suicide by their mid 20s.
- There are over 30,000 registered churches in Ukraine. That means if each church adopted/fostered 1 child there would be no more children in the orphanages in Ukraine.
The biggest need is for families to take care of orphans in the age group 7-18 years old. These are the majority of the children in the system, they are past the age where they will likely be adopted, and their future is very dim.
Join us in praying for these children and praying for the families in Ukraine that God would lead them to adopt/foster them.