Learning life skills in a bomb shelter

Every year, teens age out of orphanages all over the Zhytomyr region. Many of them come to trade schools in our city, the regional capital. You can read more about what school is like for orphans here.

For many years, we’ve met these new orphaned youth in their trade schools. Each autumn, our staff teaches life skills classes right in their dorms. Then we invite them to the Day Center, begin mentorship, and meet all kinds of needs.

This year, the war changed everything.

Martial law meant many students began the year online. When missiles hit Zhytomyr, even more went online. We couldn’t meet them because we couldn’t gather at their schools.

Our staff continued working with orphaned students they knew already. The Day Center provided hot lunches, crafts, games, and conversations about important topics. We took youth to doctors and dentists, distributed groceries and hygiene kits, and hosted home groups. And we brought tea, snacks, and conversation to a social dorm where 30 of our youth live. 

Finally, in late October, we held our first trade school gathering—in the bomb shelter of a school basement. “As soon as we entered the institution, the anxiety began,” wrote staff member Katya. “But that didn’t stop us, and we met three new orphan girls.” 

Thank you for helping us welcome these young women into our community, even as air raid sirens are sounding. Because of your support, they’ve taken the first step toward a hopeful future.  

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Last Bell Ministries

Loving and restoring orphanage graduates toward life and community.


PO Box 30671
Indianapolis, IN 46230