End Homelessness Now
Our important project, just now in development,
is the End Homelessness Now. Project
will provide a family-like community allowing
hundreds of children to reach their full potential
as healthy, educated, and responsible members
of Polish society. The campus will consist
of family-like housing for children, a multi-purpose
building that will house a school, vocational
training program, children's, and gymnasium.
A vocational training guest house will also
be developed on the campus, as well as a warehouse,
and areas for farming and recreation.
The first phase of development for the End
Homelessness Now has been underway since the
fall of 2011. We have purchased a 16-acre
property, located about 15 miles outside of
Warsaw, Poland. The property is beautiful near
a forest and a lake. There were two homes
already on the property when we purchased
it. We currently have some of our children
living there in family settings.
Aid For Teens, Poland
Aims to provide medicines/treatment
unavailable or out of reach financially here
in Poland to those children with the most
accute need, by part funding the purchase
of medicines, part sponsering treatment abroad,
providing the psychological support to the
carers, all too often long suffering Polish
mothers, and saving for our long term vision
of building and funding a modern hospice,
right here in Poland, to give these children
and their families the best care, comfort
and support possible, during what are the
most difficult times and the saddest circumstances
that any family can imagin.
ABC Charity organises events in Sofia and the rest of Bulgaria looking to engender a culture of
giving and trust in charitable organisations,
raising the wider public's awareness of what
is often a taboo subject here in Bulgaria,
through press advertisement, radio and television
campaigns and encouraging local people, expatriates
and the international community alike to join
together in giving whilst having fun, for
what is after all the most worthy of causes.
We donated 30
000 EUR to kids in Beslan (town located in the Republic of North
Ossetia-Alania of Russia) after the Beslan school hostage crisis (also
referred to by the media as the Beslan school siege) began when armed
terrorists took hundreds of school children and adults hostage.
News report from Russia by John Kluver
(former CNN producer) for CBN.
low quality (2,1 MB, 7 min.)
medium quality (13 MB, 7 min.)
(This video is Real Media. You
will need to download RealPlayer.
To do so click here)
ODESSA, Ukraine, 19 November 2016 – For thousands of street children in Ukraine, daily life is a fight for survival. Their rights are often violated and normal childhood has often been replaced by drug addiction and violence.
Miroslav, 17, for example, lives in squalor, with clothes and garbage strewn everywhere in the corner of an unused garage. He shares his makeshift home with two other youths – Vova and Taras. These are just a few of the estimated 4000 homeless children on the streets of Odessa who lack the fundamental right to protection.
A step forward.
Inhaling glue or injecting a cocktail of cold and flu medicines are common ways of taking drugs among homeless young people. Sharing needles and engaging in unsafe sex make them one of the groups most at risk of contracting HIV in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, violence, sexual abuse and drug addiction often lead to crime. Many homeless children in Odessa say they expect to die on the streets.
For street children looking to change their lives, a non-governmental organization called ABC Charity is a step forward. In partnership with UNICEF, the organization is providing protection as well as legal and educational services for street children in central Odessa.
"UNICEF is trying to provide access for street children to basic services like education, health, first aid and counselling on HIV, to help them stay healthy and get some basic education," says UNICEF Ukraine's Assistant Project Officer for HIV and Young People's Health and Development.
Ms. Jukovsky adds that street children in Ukraine are among the most vulnerable in society and often lack the implementation of their basic rights.
Throughout each week, ABC Charity sends an outreach team to visit areas where street children are known to congregate. Social workers provide youths with clean water and food, as well as some basic first aid.
Establishing contact with street children is the first step toward showing them that protection, care and support are available – and that there are alternatives to the street.
Over the summer, we also sets up an outdoor camp by the pebble beaches of the Black Sea, giving youths a chance to play, swim and enjoy the season. Activities such as cleaning the beach also encourage them to gain a sense of personal responsibility, help others and look after their local environment.
"Here, you find friends that will support you and you can do what you enjoy the most," says Lena, 15, who lived on the streets before finding the programme. "This is your second home. This is a second chance."
Still caught in the transition from a former Soviet country to a modern society, the Ukraine has become one of Europe's epicentres of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with numbers of affected people increasing daily. Situated at a key crossroads between Asian suppliers and western European consumers, Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa is a primary entry point for illicit drugs. The heavy drug trafficking has multiplied the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Ukraine, exacerbating the ongoing struggle with political, economic and social problems. According to UNAIDS, surveys have estimated that there are up to 600,000 injecting drug users in the Ukraine, most of whom are young.
In 2002, Ukraine registered the highest, and among the fastest-growing, rates of HIV infection in all of Eastern Europe. The spread of HIV is being driven by injecting drug use and, to a lesser but growing extent, unsafe sex among young people. Cases of parent-to-child transmissions have shot up. Today 40 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS in Ukraine are women. Some 97 percent of HIV-positive children were infected by their mothers.
A rising number of HIV harm reduction centres have been opened throughout the country. One of these is the Way Home Centre, which was founded in 1996 and which is Odessa's first and most frequented harm reduction centre. Way Home Centre chemist Natalya Kitsenko says that education plays a vital role in the fight against the epidemic.
"People need to understand that as of today there are already medicines which can decrease the speed of the virus spread in the body. In order to get these medicines, one has to go to a polyclinic, one needs to be tested. But our drug users, they sort of avoid that. They don't go to hospitals. One of our outreach programme's main goals is to explain that today it's already possible to extend life…For this one needs to go to a doctor and get tested."
Nevertheless, the social stigma of being infected with HIV/AIDS continues. Many drug users are afraid to seek help. Only a few have confronted the disease.
One of them is Lera Naumova, a former star on the national handball team and mother of a five year old HIV positive daughter. The 27 year old started injecting drugs at a very young age and became infected with HIV when she was only 18. Traumatized by her past, Lera joined our centre in order to help children living with HIV/AIDS and to provide counselling to their parents. For Lera, this job her first ever has become a life changing experience.
"I saw these little kids who aren't any different from healthy ones, and I thought of my daughter. She ss the same as them, also sick, and I looked at them and I was shocked - their parents refuse to give them medicine or they don't care for them because they are out shooting up or drinking and I just thought, if I don't do it, who will?"
According to Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF'S representative in Ukraine, the country's fight against HIV/AIDS is now beginning to show results. And Hartley believes there is reason for optimism.
"Ukraine has been very successful in prevention of transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborn infants. Over 90 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are now receiving anti-retroviral treatment, as are their newborn babies, and this success story is being shared with other countries, hopefully allowing them to replicate this experience."
UNICEF and we together support all efforts of the Ukrainian Government in the prevention of parent-to-child transmission of HIV. These interventions are also included in state programmes on AIDS prevention and reproductive health.
ABC Charity Villages, Poland and Russia
ABC Charity Village – is a family based project that provides a family approach to the long care of orphaned, abandoned children or those whose families are unable to care for them. We try to support children with what they were deprived of, what is necessary for their physical and spiritual development: mother, home and trust in future.
Villages are 10 to 15 family houses where children of different ages live with adopted mothers. Each mother takes care of 6 to 8 children as any other mother does: she keeps house, cooking, helps the kids with their everyday life and teaches them everything that they will need in future life. Unlike children from state orphanges who live in a closed system and hardly connect with world around them children from ABC Charity Villages are integrated into the community. They have friends, attend normal schools, get advance education and have all the opportunities to fulfill their needs.
First Polish ABC Charity Village was built near Warsaw in 2004.
512 kids graduated from ABC Charity Villages during these years. Most of them got a proper education and now live independently. Third of them already have their own families and kids.
So far there are 5 Villages in Poland: in Krakow, in Warsaw, in Tarnow, in Gdynia, in Katowice. 6th Village in Russia, near Moscow is due to open its doors to new kids this year.
The Child Health, Ukraine
The generally difficult living conditions
have led over the past years to many people
losing their roots in society. Drug addiction
and alcoholism, a large number of children
either left to their own devices, abandoned
or put up for adoption, as well as rapid growth
in the rate of HIV infection are all signs
of this society in crisis.
Until today, Ukraine is still suffering from
the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster
in April 1986. Wide areas of the country were
contaminated and the effects are still noticeable
today. As well as the catastrophic effects
on the health of the people in the region,
the accident brought about a collapse in the
economic development; the difficult transition
to a market economy system remains a great
challenge for Ukraine.
Officially one third of the inhabitants live
below the poverty line but unofficial estimates
are much higher. Two aid projects in the capital,
Kiev, were started in late 2003: one for families
with many children and one providing a centre
for AIDS counselling.
The two aid programmes are aimed at those
groups of the population who suffer most from
the bad economic situation and insufficient
social welfare: large families and children
and youths from disadvantaged families.
As in many former soviet states, the situation
in many orphanages in Ukraine could be described
as catastrophic. The construction of the country's
first should represent the antithesis of these
institutions, promote individual, family-like
out-of-home care for the country's children
and demonstrate an alternative way for institutional
Some one hundred children will find a new
home with ABC Charity in
the border town of Brovary, approximately
20 kilometres from the centre of Kiev. The
plan is to build fourteen family houses; the
school infrastructure available in the town
of 82 000 inhabitants is already adequate.
Please help us build this program in Ukraine
and bring the total number of countries in
which we are committed to helping children!
HIV/AIDS presents a serious threat for
the entire social and economic development;
40% of all deaths between the ages of
15 and 49 can be traced back to AIDS.
The number of orphans has risen astronomically
in the past years due to AIDS and it is
necessary that all social authorities,
relief organisations and politicians make
a joint effort to get the catastrophic
living situation of thousands of children
Village for our children
When children turn 18 they are moved to
an institution for the adult disabled
and elderly. These institutions are huge
and generally have between 600 to 800
people. Conditions there are not good
and many of our children would surely
die. To provide an alternative to life
in an institution, we have just broken
ground on a Village 250 kms south of Moscow.
The plan is to start small, taking just
5 or 6 of the children who have turned
18. Eventually, funds allowing, we could
have 36 to 40, young disabled adults living
in group homes with house parents. For
the first time in their lives these children
will know what it means to live in a home
and not an institution. They will help
with meals and sweeping the walks. They
will gather the eggs from the chickens.
They will sit calmly in their wheelchair
with a cat on their lap and a loving dog
at their feet. We will continue their
education and therapy there. We may even
be able to purchase and care for a horse
for riding therapy.
Families Services Center
Our Families Services Center started
its work. It includes an early intervention
and education center providing families
and expectant mothers with early intervention
services comprised of:
- Medical and psychological support for
child and family
- Day care facilities for working parents
- Advocacy to place children in integrated
school settings in conjunction with
a program to support that child
- Educational programs for school age
children who have been refused entrance
to integrated school settings
- Workshops for parents to educate them
about the rights of their child and
to provide them with advocacy tools
- Monthly seminars for parents
- Printed resource material (medical,
psychological, educational) for parents
- Support group sessions for parents
- Material aid to families at risk of
abandoning their child for financial
A three year project in obtaining the
government's permission to bring Seroyja
Krunov to the United States for an operation
for congenital dissociated clubfeet.
All medical and rehabilitation services
have been provided by the community
of Farmington, Maine. On December 6,
2009, Seroyja and his guardian began
their journey from Moscow to Farmington,
After countless medical tests, to assure
Seroyja was healthy enough for surgery,
the surgery was performed on February
17, 2010. Seroyja is recovering very
well as of February 25, 2010. Updates
on his progress will be posted to inform
our supporters of his progress. Funding
requirement for this program is $4000.
"A Mother's Love"
A program to create an early intervention
program for young mothers of disabled
newborns, using a network of Mothers
who have made the decision to keep their
disabled child at home. Funding requirement
for this program is $3000 annually.
A program for the children to increase their overall capacities
through medical treatments and operations.
Funding requirement for this program
is $10,000 and treatment is based on
the individual needs of a child.
A program to provide the children with the special equipment
they need for their disabilities. All
equipment for the children has been
donated, is old and not specific for
a child's disability. One of the children,
Yula, needs a new wheelchair that is
motorized. Due to her disabilities,
it is difficult for her to maneuver
a manual wheelchair. This equipment
is necessary for the welfare of the
children's lives. Funding requirement
for this program is estimated to be
$400 per individual.
"Through Education There is Hope"
A program to increase the number of
teachers in our program
and to increase the children's learning
capacity through educational field trips.
Funding requirement for this program
is $1500 monthly.
A program to provide the opportunity
for cross culture information for the
director of Internat 8, the director
of our program and for
the teachers to visit facilities and
programs in the United States that provide
services for disabled children.
A program to expand the facilities
at Internat 8 where our
program operates. This is a tremendous
and unprecedented step by the government
to enter into a joint project with an
NGO (non-governmental organization). This project will further our long-term
goal of changing the living conditions
for disabled children. We plan to institute
a cross-training program involving the
six orphanages in Moscow where disabled
children are housed. We plan for this
program to be the beginning of a Federal
model for the treatment and training
of caregivers for disabled orphans in
Russia. We have begun negotiations with
the government and have architectural
drawings for the expansion. Estimated
funding requirement for this program
A program to petition the government
to institute support programs for disabled
children, provide financial assistance
to families that keep their disabled
children at home and create a Family
Services Center to provide assistance
to those families. Funding requirement
for this program is $20,000 annually.
Currently, we are in negotiation
with the government for a building for our program. We
anticipate the costs to be $600,000
for the renovation, rehabilitation equipment,
furniture, fixtures, laundry facilities
and educational supplies.
Health care to sexually exploited children.
Polya does not talk much about her teen years in Krakow, one of the most biggest cities in Poland.
She wants to forget the days of fighting with her grandfather, who was her only surviving relative after her parents died, and what happened after she was thrown out of the house.
When she finally opened up, she recounted being forced into sex work at age 15.
She found herself having unprotected sex and abusing drugs and alcohol.
"I do not want to talk about it, and I don't want to remember it," she said.
Polya's story is one familiar to thousands of girls in Poland, most of them from poor families. Polya comes from the city, but she knows many girls from rural areas who migrated to cities across the country to seek better paying jobs or to flee family strife. Such girls are particularly vulnerable, as they have little or no support from family and friends.
There are an estimated 3000 teen girls exploited by sex work in Poland.
These girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV.
The HIV epidemic in Poland has also been fuelled by injecting drug use, an activity that girls used in sex work are vulnerable to. According to a 2011 study, 19 per cent of teen female sex workers reported using injecting drugs, essentially doubling their risk of HIV infection.
A girl talks to psychologist at a ABC Charity supported community center that provides services to sexually exploited teens. The centre offers medical consultations, social support and information on HIV/AIDS prevention.
In spite of these vulnerabilities, teen sex workers are often excluded from the services that should protect them. Stigma and discrimination are barriers to critical social and health services, as are girls' fears of being reported to the police or institutionalized.
We outreach workers brought girls to a drop-in centre that offered a safe space, counselling, and referrals to governmental health and social services. Working with child protection services, the police and the education sector began fostering a more supportive environment for at-risk girls, even empowering them to actively participate in service planning, implementation and evaluation.
"Despite having had a lot of unprotected sex, I had never visited a doctor," Polya said. With help from the drop-in centre, she was finally able to access health care. "I went to a gynecologist. I also talked to a psychologist," she said. "I do not know what would have happened if I had not gone to them."
Polya is one of the lucky ones. She was not infected with HIV. Of the 42 per cent of teen sex workers who accessed services at the drop-in centre, 10 per cent tested positive for HIV.
Because of the results, the National AIDS Programme and State Social Services now recognize girls exploited in sex work as an essential constituency for services. A law, enforced since December 2011, allows teens between ages 14 and 18 to obtain HIV tests without parental consent.
We aim to make these services available around the country and to keep them adequately resourced, but challenges remain. Most legislators and other officials who control the budgets for these services believe that those involved in high-risk behaviors – including young people who inject drugs, sell sex and or live on the streets – should be punished rather than helped.
Polya, meanwhile, managed to turn her life around. Through the holistic services at the drop-in centre, she learned how to protect herself from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. She quit drinking, left sex work, and reconciled with her grandfather. After returning home, she went back to school. She has since graduated.
Cultural exchange, Austria
ABC Charity in Salzburg can take in 108 children
in twelve family houses.
a social centre is being planned which
will offer shelter, counselling and
help to around 300 young people from
therapy is a combination
of various forms of creative expression:
movement, drawing, painting, sculpture,
singing, improvization aimed at personal
development and curing of the disease.
This method directs the child's soul
toward recovery and self-support; this
is why its use at a pediatric hospital
is so important.
When a child receives much medical attention
from the doctors and other hospital
staff, from his or her parents, this
child becomes too concentrated on the
disease, especially in adolescence.
The child sees this situation as his
or her own defect, becomes unsure and
shy, suspicious and depressed, has problems
with communication. Some of such children
refuse to cooperate with art therapists
or possibly agree to cooperate but show
inpredictable changes of mood. An art
therapist must be ready that the child
may refuse to cooperate at any moment.
But also must be ready to seek this
cooperation again and again.
We, Irena Wolak and Olga Gorneva,
are co-therapists working at the Center
for Kidney Transplantation since the
autumn of 2010. We chose this department
because art therapy is most adequate
and useful for children who have to
spend a long time at a hospital, months
or even years, and for whom even a fatal
outcome is possible.
Art therapy is a comparatively new
method in our country. We believe that
each person is capable of creating something,
and our aim is to awaken this inspiration.
We approach these children with love
and joy, and they approach us.
What is the difference between art
therapy and an artist's (or designer's)
work? The main difference is that our
main accent is on personal relations
between all of us, the participants
of the creative act. Of course, the
final product is also important, but
the aim is achieved only if our work
together brings smiles and positive
energy, leads to warm personal contacts
and a feeling of happiness.
The pictures that we draw together
on Saturdays will hang on the walls
of the dining-room through the whole
week in order to keep the memory of
this happiness, these smiles.
We use not only traditional materials,
like paper and crayons, but also phototherapy
(a method widespread in the West): we
photograph the children's inspired and
rapt faces as they draw. A child is
so immersed in the creative process
that he or she doesn't even notice the
photographers and then sees these photographs
with joy and surprise. These photographs
will also hang on the walls, and the
child can discuss them with the parents
Our work is based on the presumption
that any creation is a gift from God.
We don't invent anything ourselves,
but we just try to reveal what God opened
A child's way of thinking is more graphic
and specific than the thoughts of most
grown-ups. This is why is a child can
use drawing as the way of perceiving
life around him or her. A child's drawing
can show the level of his or her spiritual
Art therapy has no contraindications.
One of its main purposes is to eliminate
fears and neuroses. Expressing his or
her fears in a drawing, a child becomes
less afraid. We sometimes ask children
to draw their fears. Some children draw
with their left hand, some use dark
colors, some tear their drawings afterwards,
thus symbolizing reduction of their
In further work, we offer various projects
to children but formulate only the titles.
That is, these projects are interactive
and may be completely reformulated by
the children as time goes by. The child
is free to choose the desired color,
the nature of lines (smooth or sharp),
the composition of the drawing. It will
be the child's own work.
At the beginning of creative work,
we forget about knowledge in the ordinary
sense of the word, because such knowledge
separates the subject and object of
perception. The material used for creation
helps us express our feelings about
life. The color, sound, and smell help
us in this. The resources of the right
hemisphere and cooperation of both hemispheres
Each child can draw in his or her own
way, revealing the individuality and
seeing what he or she can do better
than others. This idea is best implemented
in the method of spontaneous drawing.
Even a simple line
noted, can evoke a certain psychological
If we present the children's works
and photographs of the process in the
form of a diary, we can monitor their
changes within a certain time. The lines
become more diverse, and it takes longer
to complete a drawing. In the process,
the children are concentrated and relaxed
at the same time. They use the entire
area of the paper, selecting saturated
and mostly positively interpreted colors.
The faces in the photographs show trust
and inspiration, joy and tranquillity.
The children change indeed, as well
as their pictures. The level of their
activity and responsibility also changes
from "OK, we've come, what are
we to do now?" (or even from zero
level, when a child is completely passive
and doesn't want to do anything) to
independent decisions and choices.
When we attain a high level of responsibility,
it is important to offer a positive
direction for a child's activity. Many
kids, especially boys of 10-12 or so,
are especially active in drawing demons,
batmans, vampires, etc. This is natural
and not bad in itself, because such
are the known computer characters. But
this natural aggressiveness should not
lead to destructive acts. One of the
ways to cope with it is to draw comic
strips. The children invent their roles,
unite into teams, and play these roles.
We photograph each episode, sign the
photographs together with the boys,
and make a comic book. Of course, the
boys mostly attempt to use their wide
knowledge in the field of horror stories
and thrillers. But, instead of space
wars with laser weapons, we tried to
invent more positive plots. Here is
an example: in one of the stories, gangsters
were to rob a shop together with its
poor shop-assistants. But, in the final
version of the story, the bad guys received
nothing, because the smart ship-assistants
managed to give them the fake money
drawn using the Photoshop software.
We can see how a child's mood changes
during even one meeting. The children
often come in a bad mood, in depression,
only through habit. But, in five minutes,
such a child can already take an active
part in the drawing and happily propose
One example. The girl's name was Ira.
When I entered the department, she was
very weak and miserable, lying in bed.
I said, "Ira, we'll be glad to
see you." She replied, "Oh
well, maybe I'll just visit you and
sit there for a minute or two."
She came in when other children were
already working. And, in a few minutes,
she joined the others and proposed text
phrases for the comic strips. Then she
wrote them down and said that she wanted
to work further. But her mother entered
and was worried: after all, she saw
Ira lying in bed only a few minutes
Ira asked, "Mom, may I work a
bit more?" Her mother said that
she was afraid for the child's health,
and so they would go back to their ward
and think. They left... but Ira returned
in five minutes and worked for an hour
more. This means that Ira actually felt
strong and healthy while she was playing
with the others.
It is very important that the parents
participate in our work. Their adequate
attitude to our classes is necessary,
and, if the mothers are also involved
in the art therapy, the curative effect
becomes much stronger. The parents also
feel that their fear and stress are
reduced, the anger and fatigue decrease.
Some more examples. When Ilona was
admitted to the Center for Kidney Transplantation,
she was extremely depressed, and her
first drawings clearly show this. But
her mood improved after our work. Her
grandmother, who was at hospital with
the child, acknowledged this. The elderly
woman understands that art therapy alone
cannot cure a person but can be one
of the factors for recovery.
Andrew was an irritable, aggressive teenager
with a poor cultural background and
an urge to destroy. At first he ignored
or ridiculed our classes. Then he sometimes
joined in but soon quarrelled with one
or another member of the group, demonstrated
aggressive behavior, or just lost interest.
But, at a certain stage, he caught the
rhythm of our classes. He created very
interesting comic strips and was ready
for long and productive work.
Dasha, a girl of 15, liked the idea
of creating something from the very
beginning. However, her first works
were rather primitive and resembled
those made by a five-year-old: a house,
a sun, a tree with simple and rigid
contours. But presently we see that
Dasha can create diverse and interesting
drawings. For example, we see earth
drawn in a patchwork style and a growing
tree with bright and live leaves. This
drawing shows the awakening of imagination
and fantasy, and maybe also the archetype
In the calm and friendly atmosphere
of cooperation, the child finds inner
harmony, the harmony of health, which
had been in the soul since birth but
was lost during the grave disease...