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    Door to the LB Support Center, were young people can drink tea with a counselor washing their laundry

Statistics

It is difficult to find reliable statistics on Ukrainian orphans. They're considered "throwaway kids" by their society, which assumes they're destined for abject failure. Conservative interpretations of national and international reports describe a bleak outcome for orphanage graduates. Without intervention...


Are Chronically Unable to Find Work

Boys Enter a Continual Rotation Between Crime and Prison

Orphan Girls are Sexually Exploited

Commit Suicide by Age 18

Orphan Life Cycle

  • How a Child Becomes an Orphan

    How a Child Becomes an Orphan

    In Ukraine, most orphans are “social orphans”: children whose parents are alcoholics or addicts, abusive or neglectful, or incarcerated. According to the World Orphan Project, 90% of Ukraine’s orphans are social orphans. 70% of orphans come from villages and have at least one alcoholic parent. Because of their traumatizing history, many enter orphanages already disadvantaged by learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression, even as very small children. Some struggle with much more insidious problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma.
  • Orphanage Life

    Orphanage Life

    Children who grow up in Ukraine’s state institutions miss out on everything family life offers: a sense of self and of being known and loved, protection from attentive adults, and everyday learning experiences. This creates an isolated community where young people band together, for good or ill. Orphanage culture also includes a pecking order: bigger kids hurt and exploit smaller kids. Some caregivers are at the “top” of this brutal system, exploiting or abusing the vulnerable children in their care. Certainly, orphanage life only exacerbates the problems orphans bring in with them. Some teenagers leave the orphanage already addicted to alcohol, or involved in exploitative sexual relationships. They believe their situation is hopeless and no one will help them.
  • Last Bell Ceremony

    Last Bell Ceremony

    At the end of every school year, the whole school holds a “Last Bell Ceremony” to mark the occasion. It often involves a flag ceremony and the singing of the national anthem. For graduates, this ceremony marks the end of life in an institution and the beginning of life on their own, where they face almost impossible odds.
  • Challenges Following Graduation

    Challenges Following Graduation

    In post-Soviet Ukraine, there is a widespread social stigma against orphans. They are truly “the least of these,” and this becomes most evident as they exit the institutions. Orphanage graduates contribute disproportionately to the nation’s prison, human trafficking, alcoholism, and suicide statistics. Tragically, some of them simply disappear. Even those who work toward independence are rejected by employers, landlords, and others – a haunting reminder that their parents, often still living, have rejected them. Without support, orphans leaving the system are likely to perpetuate it. Their own children overwhelm them easily, and they turn to the orphanage for help. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • Our Response

    Our Response

    Last Bell’s intervention is bringing this cycle to an end. We begin lavishing our time, energy, and resources on these young teens as soon as they graduate, and develop long-term relationships. It takes four to six years, or longer, to effect enough change in our young people’s lives that they can move forward courageously into new life-paths. Starting with a Christ-centered foundation, we offer hope by first addressing the basic needs of our youth. Then we guide them into purposeful living through mentoring discipleship, engagement in a loving community, and educational support. These are integrated into all Last Bell’s programming. We want our youth to thrive, investing in their own families and communities.

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Our youth and Last Bell staff need your prayers and intercession. We would love for you to join our faithful prayer team!

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In addition to monetary support, we are constantly in need of clothing, medication, and other basic necessities.

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Your unique gifts can contribute towards loving and restoring orphanage graduates toward Life and community.

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Meet Our Youth

User

Kiril

Kiril told one of our board members, “I take my studies seriously.” The odds are stacked against young men like Kiril who are coming from such difficult circumstances; but he is determined. He wants people to pray for his efforts in school.

Kiril spent his childhood years in an orphanage, even though both parents are alive, because of his mother's drinking. After aging out of a rural orphanage near Zhytomyr, Kiril moved into the Shelter, where he lives and studies with other orphaned youth under the care of Last Bell houseparents.

Kiril goes to church with Last Bell staff members. He began to follow Jesus, and was baptized in 2013.

Kiril's dream is to be a pharmacist. Even though the state stopped paying for orphans' college expenses just as Kiril was graduating from high school at the orphanage, our staff made sure he could start classes at the Pharmacology College. Last Bell is helping pay for his education.

Kiril told one of our board members, “I take my studies seriously.” The odds are stacked against young men like Kiril who are coming from such difficult circumstances; but he is determined. He wants people to pray for his efforts in school.

Last Bell Youth Katya

Katya

Last Bell is renovating Katya's home through the Restoration Project. Once on the outskirts, Katya is now in the center of Last Bell's services, benefiting from parenting training with Stop the Cycle and the provision of a safe and secure home for herself and her little girl.

Katya went to the orphanage when she was eleven years old, and graduated at fifteen. When we first met Katya, she was very shy; she hung around the edges and in the doorways at our gatherings.

In 2014, when she had a baby, she immediately joined the Stop the Cycle program. She is a great mom—very gentle with her little girl Sophia.

Katya inherited a small apartment, but it was so dilapidated that she and Sophia lived elsewhere. Her husband kept losing his job and couldn't provide for his family. Last Bell planned to help him renovate the apartment—but recently, he was caught stealing and went to jail.

Now Last Bell is renovating Katya's home through the Restoration Project. Once on the outskirts, Katya is now in the center of Last Bell's services, benefiting from parenting training with Stop the Cycle and the provision of a safe and secure home for herself and her little girl.

User

Louis Litt

Louis is creative director of the Advertising Make Sense inc. He is responsible for the lastest award winning commercials.

We've tried to find the right creative tools in the past, but now we've found your products, the search ends. Thanks.

User

Mike Ross

Mike is an intern of the Global Important Business Group. He works together with Rachel Zane to improve the workflow.

After recommending your products for the company, I will get a very good job offer when I finish my internship.

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