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Zaporozhye regional foundling-home (orphanage) for minors

August 22, 2007, 0:30 6946 Author: Svetlana Chumachenko www.deti.zp.ua Home page of Zaporozhye regional foundling-home (orphanage) for minors

It’s the quite hour time in the orphanage, but someone can’t fall asleep.


It’s known that about 90% of the orphans of the Ukrainian orphans are social orphans, i.e. kids that are orphans while their parents are alive. They come to orphanages in different ways, some of them immediately after birth, others appear here in more mature age. Some of them are left by their parents, others are street children that leave their own home in search of better life. The homeless children and the children from problem families come to Zaporozhye Regional orphanage for Minors. They stay there for some time, then the professionals determine their future fortune by sending them either to orphanages or by performing the search of their future foster family for them. We talked with Olga KUCHER about the kids’ life in the orphanage.

-Olga Nikolayevna, how many kids are their in the orphanage now?

-Our orphanage was built to locate 80 children. At the moment we have 45 children. The kids can not stay with us for more than 3 months, that’s why some children come, others leave. From the beginning of the year there were 368 children in our orphanage. The main contingent of the children are the teenagers at the age of 12-16 y.o. Because of this constant change we always have problems with the clothes. We give them the clothes, it stays with them, when they are transferred to the orphanages. We have a lack of footwear and clothes always.

- How do children appear in the orphanage?

- The children can stay with us when sent by the Minor’s Case Service. There were cases when the children were brought to us by the criminal police. This happens when police has to file a case against the parents if they were treating the kids violently. We have no right to accept children that are under narcotic action, alcoholic intoxication or have psychological diseases. Though it can not be identified at once and usually several days pass before we send them to hospital. And here we again have some difficulties, because the parents should give approval to treat the children and usually it’s next to impossible to find them.

The children that appear in the orphanage go to study to the school that is not far from here, School #87. But at this moment they have holidays and they play outdoors. Kids should first be bought 20 new rucksacks, because they don’t want to go to school with plastic bags.

- How can parents get lost?

- The search of the documents and parents affiliation are the main difficulties. Let me tell you the recent event. Last week I went to Kiev to find the three brothers. Their mother is Ukrainian, dad is Russian, and kids are registered to be living in Tajikistan. Currently the parents live in Omsk, they abuse alcohol and are a problem family. The junior brother is 7 y.o. and he almost doesn’t talk; the middle brother also has some speech malfunctions. Both have the dystrophy diagnosis (!). All boys have a bouquet of diseases. The luckiest one is the senior, he is speaking in a normal way, he is thinking in a proper way – I suppose he is lucky to remember those times, when mom and dad weren’t yet abusing alcohol. In his 12 he became junior both for his mom and dad and his senior brother. It is difficult for me to understand such parents, but it is also difficult for me to judge them. Nowadays it’s not that easy to find the work, to provide family, but this doesn’t mean that there is no way out.

Another outrageous fact was when a girl was brought to us. She lived on a tree at Khortitsa Island.

Also not long ago a 14 y.o. boy came to us. His mother was deprived of maternity rights, and his grandmother was assigned to be his tutor. The child isn’t at all willing to return to his tutor, for in his written application he stated that he was treated cruelly.

The middle brother, that was left by parents in Omsk. He had just had his dinner and is now going to have some sleep.

The junior is complaining to Olga Nikolayevna that he is having some stomach ache. When kids have dystrophy they need a special diet.

- Can the child in such a way just manipulate the adults?

- Of course such a thing is not excluded. It’s not enough to have only the application from the child that states that he is being treated cruelly. At the moment lawyers, psychologists, methodologists and professionals from the Minors’ Case Service are working it over. There will be the circumstances investigated, the neighbors and friends will be spoken to, statements will be drawn up. And only after this the final decision will be made. It may become clear that there is no blame of the tutor, the kid just didn’t want to learn and help around the house, that’s why he decided to run away and in such a way “punish” his grandmother.

But most of all the kids are not guilty. Rudeness, roughness, aggression – that’s only the defense reaction to adults’ indifference. Cases, when kids are left outdoors to cadge and work, are also common. That’s why they chose living outdoors. Nowadays abuse of inhalants is also common. But all kids can be saved. According to the law, they are in our orphanage for only 3 months, but during this time we manage to reach certain results.

I am usually told that I shield problematic children, that I defend them too much. They tell me that these are future criminals, drug abusers, bandits. I do not agree to this at all. The kid is first of all a kid, and he is becoming angry and rough when he experiences the lack of attention from the adults. We should assure him, that he is cared about, that he is loved and appreciated, and he does not have to do something bad in order to paid attention to.

Every kid needs his own program of treatment and work, every one should be found a decision. That’s exactly why I suppose that the government is absolutely right when decide to brake up into smaller units the orphanages and orphanages. Of course I suppose that the best way for the child is to live in the family, but we should make so that the child should not live in the orphanages where there are at about 300-400 children at a time. I suppose that the most optimal will be the place that accommodates at about 40-50 children. Only in such case one can practice the individual approach to the child, can develop himself as a personality. But the most important is tenderness and love.

Kids simply need attention. I went to work at the orphanage after the Kindergarten. It was a great discovery for me when I found out that orphans are different from simple children. They have a great lack of love and tenderness. Kids constantly wanted to hold my hand, hug me or just stay behind. I had to change clothes, cause during the day of such embracing, my skirts and dresses became black. (laughing)

The child should live in a family, in a normal family. We should remember that even having the money, the cars and apartments, and having no love to the kid, one can lose him. He can leave at any moment. May kids have dreams, plans for the future life. And exactly at this moment it is important to feel their support. Otherwise he is giving up and he begins to repeat the fate of his parents. Also the cases, when there are some suicide attempts are common. The child should feel that someone cares about him.

We all have to see the homeless children or the cases when mothers use their kids to cadge. How should one act in such a case?

One can contact Zaporozhye Children's Affairs Service:

+3 8 061 239-02-51 – Antonina Ivanovna, Natalya Vasilyevna or Tatiana Vasilyevna

I am not giving money to such “moms” for a long time already. Today all families that have difficult financial situation can receive financial help from, government. Now everyone is helping, both the hospitals and the social service, and the charitable foundations. In our region there are some non-orphan orphanages. The mother that has difficult financial situation can write an application and send her child there for the full government support. The child can be taken away at any moment.

Nowadays there are many cases, when mothers give birth to their children only in order to receive those 8 thousands from the government. After a year the kid is tried to be deprived of. That’s exactly why we can witness such cases. In such a way in Orekhov one of the mothers “forgot” her child on the balcony at a frosty day. Just by a lucky chance people managed to save him. There are a lot of such cases. The problem is that there is no way to control the usage of the “kid’s money”. There should be some accountability from the parents. Of course, giving report about the way the money is spent is quite humiliating. But from the other side, there are no other ways to control the situation. The process of returning back the kids’ money and maternity tight deprival is a very difficult process, that’s why it happens not often.

- Olga Nikolayevna, what do the children in the orphanage do?

- As well as all the children, they study. The senior children go to the school #87, and the juniors learn here. They should be bought some rucksacks, for they study in the usual school, and they want to be not worse than the others.

In their free time kids make some craftwork. One kind woman comes to us, she volunteers to teach children handicraft. She herself finds the materials for them and thinks up about what can be made. Children like uch classes very much, and we would very much wish there to be more such children.

Orphanage children like making different craftwork very much. The creative group is supervised by a woman from Zaporozhye, that decided to devote her free time to children. She manages to make big pictures and paintings with children. Every piece of craftwork is a small masterpiece, because there is so much kindness and light in it.

Olga Nikolayevna showed the orphanage. It is very tidy and clean there, though it is noticeable that the building wasn’t repaired for long. The money for it was given, but as usual it is not enough. Olga Nikolayevna is the administrator here for only 3 months so far, and she has big plans for the future. For example, she wants to change the old soviet beds into the new ones with mattresses, so that it would be more comfortable for kids to sleep. She wants to change the old wardrobes and to buy a new round table for classes in the psychologist’s room. She plans to buy sport suits for all the children and manage to put some equipment to the sports hall. In the groups there is lack of bedside tabled and desk lamps – children should study the homework, especially in wintertime. Also children would like to have CD-receivers and CDs.

Needs List:


1. Wardrobes – 50 items

2. Tables – 4 items

3. Children beds – 12 items.

4. Beds for senior children – 48 items

5. Coffee tables – 8 items

6. Bedside tables – 50 items

7. Rucksacks – 20 items

8. CD-players – 5 items

Constant needs:

1. Sport suits

2. T-shirts

3. Sneakers

4. Shale

5. Towels

6. Tooth brushes, tooth paste, diapers for children 4-5 y.o., sanitary pads.

7. Stationery

8. Educative toys

9. Sports stocks

10. CDs, cassettes

11. Craftwork material: sewing, needles, paper, scissors, carton, cloth, pieces of fur, and so on.

Zaporozhye Regional orphanage for Minors

Uzbekistanskaya str. 36

Phone: +3 8 061 223-63-32, +3 8 0612 59-70-66, +3 8 061 223-66-93

Administrator: Olga Nikolayevna Kucher

Bank details: before donating please contact the orphanage. It’s obligatory.

You can transfer your donations also to Zaporozhye Charity Fund “Happy child”, created by the volunteers of the site www.deti.zp.ua And please in the line “payment settings” please state “Non-repayable volunteer help to Zaporozhye Regional orphanage”

Please contact the website administrator (detizp@mail.ru) and orphanage director each time when sending donations.


Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, since 2004

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Oleksiy Marchuk
Oleksiy Marchuk

cerebral palsy, spastic tetraparesis

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Dmytro Marusenko
Dmytro Marusenko

Cerebral palsy Right-sided spastic hemiparesis

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Our expenses in 2024
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