Kamianske (former 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 Kiev 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.

Orphan Care

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.  

Alina is an orphan. She was left on a doorstep as an infant at the age of 1 month, she was badly bruised and beaten and still bears the scars today. She proved to be a difficult girl, by nature she is very boyish, and at boarding school (orphanage) she routinely got into fights drank, smoked and ultimately got into drugs.  She was so desperate, she even cut herself in a failed suicide attempt.  At the age of 15 she came to our House of Light and from that time something changed in her heart.

Alina now has a baby daughter (Solomia born in 2017); sadly the father is a former drug addict and has left her for his old way of life.  While Alina has now moved into a “mercy house” with her daughter, Children’s Hearts will continue to be there for her to ensure that she and her baby can stay together, helping her as a mother, securing her the benefits she is entitled to, and eventually the accommodation she will need.

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.

Funds raised will provide, amongst other things: continued improvements to make the area more comfortable and appealing for young people to want to attend,  storage, and above all else equipment and materials for coaching the young people.