Kamianske (formerly Dniprodzerzhynsk or Dneprodzerzhinsk) is an industrial city located in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine, standing on both banks of the Dnieper River, close to the Dnieper Hydroelectric plant.
In the former Soviet days it was known for its metallurgical plants, machine and chemical plants. While these industries once helped fund local services, including kindergartens, schools, hospitals and similar, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the introduction of a free market saw many of these factories close. The region as a whole has been left heavily polluted, bereft of investment, with social services having been dramatically cut back. Whilst the Kyiv government has handed back to the regions a greater share of locally collected taxes, re-investment will take a long time to redress the losses.
In 2008 ChildAid started working with local partners in Kamianske, and in 2009 purchased some land with a small bungalow. This site was refurbished and became our “House of Light”, a centre acting as a safe refuge for children and young people to come to. It became a true beacon of hope in a dark city, we have since completely rebuilt the bungalow, added a residential unit for 6 teenage orphans, and have opened up an extended loft area to use as a meeting place.
Statistic in Ukraine have shown how 10% of those leaving state care commit suicide within a year. Of those girls who survive, 60% will enter the sex trade and/or be trafficked; and 70% of boys will turn to crime. Our partner, Children’s Hearts, to combat this provide an education and life skills programme of literacy, numeracy and life skills. They help young people understand the basics of using money, how to cook, essential social skills, and help them secure employment and housing.
Orphan Care Programme
The area we have in the loft space at the House of Light has proven a great place to gather young people together. Typically 30 or so young orphans gather there for fellowship, friendship, and some life-skills training. Such is the enthusiasm that the young people have for this place that the numbers are ever increasing.
In addition, regular activities and camps are held to help equip young orphans with the practical, emotional and spiritual tools they will need to embark on their independent life