What if you could help children who are already instutionalised and make a positive impact in their life which may help them to develop "normally" giving them a chance to have the ability to work and raise their own family in a happy environment as adults. Many children without parental care suffer terrible outcomes and in some cases repeat the cycle of problems by abandoning their own children. Children without parental care suffer more than the loss of parents, they don't get a good start and many have to deal with very big problems at an early age, including sexual abuse, drug abuse (sniffing solvents on the streets is common if they run away from an orphanage or family), stealing to survive and selling themselves (see the details below).
What can we do to help children develop normally? Many charities rightly focus on getting kids out of orphanages and into foster or guardian homes. But, what about the children "stuck" in an orphanage now. What can we all do to help them NOW? We are onl at the start of our journey to set up a charity to help the youngest of children. Why the yongest? Because if they don't develop connections in the brian before 3 years old through play and positive, reliable and familar human contact, they can't develop skills needed and they may never be able to develop the life skills they need.
Click the link for a video showing the effect of institutional care for children in Ukraine up to 3 years - a clear gap we need to bridge: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UOecNqWLSDs
According to the data of the State Committee on Statistics, 9,503,315 children lived in Ukraine at the beginning of 2005 – about 20 per cent of the population. Among them:
- 2.6 million lived in poor families (i.e. with an income below the official average);
- 156,000 children lived in dysfunctional families and did not receive proper care;
- 96,000 children were officially classified as orphans and children deprived of parental care;
- 65,800 children lived in state institutions (75 per cent more than in 1995);
- 90 per cent of the children deprived of parental care had lost their families because their parents were not willing to take care of them;
- nearly 3,000 children were considered as missing in 2005 and, according to experts, less than10 per cent of parents made attempts to search for their children;
- according to the dates provided by the Ministry of Ukraine on Family, Young People and Sports as of June, 2005, Social Services and Services on Matters Connected with Minors identified 50,000 dysfunctional families;
- nearly 50,000 children were homeless including 12,000 children registered for the first time in 2005;
- 145,000 children were on the books (“preventive registration”) of the Services on Matters Connected with Minors including those who were homeless, those who were begging and children who, as a result of abusing drugs and alcohol, were likely to commit offences;
- more than 129,000 underage children are on the street and begging;
- 88,700 minors were recorded in 2002 as having committed crimes.
According to the research The situation of children in Ukraine and their vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation carried out by ECPAT and the State Institute of Family and Young People, 43 per cent of the minors questioned reported that they experienced cruelty or violence against them from adults and other children or older children. The research showed that approximately 78,000 children are suffering from sexual abuse annually. According to sociologists, in Ukraine one in seven underage children (13-16 years old) is a victim of sexual abuse.
Girls aged 12-15 make up 11 per cent of all those working in the sex industry, and girls aged 16-17 account for up to 20 per cent. Demand for boys from the age of 13 is increasing.