AFFEO was encouraged to learn recently that a number of Ukraine’s aged-out teen orphans are delivering firewood and bread to families in need, while still others are helping to install modular homes for those who have lost everything in the war.
In Ukraine, 92% of children and teens in orphanages are “unadoptable.” This typically means these children have at least one living parent who hasn’t relinquished their parental rights … but they are not working towards reunification, either. So more and more teens — at the age of 16 — are “aging out” of orphanages than ever before, with no hope for adoption or reunification.
This creates a critical situation, since studies show that teens who grew up in institutions are more susceptible to trafficking, sexual exploitation, addiction, and abuse. The orphanhood cycle in Ukraine (orphans having babies and sending them to orphanages) is huge … half of the children in Ukrainian orphanages have parents who also grew up in an institution.
There is a dire need for mentors—trauma-informed adults—who can guide these teens, giving them hope and direction, while teaching them practical life skills. A Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO) is partnering with teams in Ukraine who are providing exactly that!
One of these mentoring teams is working with teens through a critical life-skills training and mentorship program in the Kyiv area. Many teens in this program are installing modular homes for widows and families who have lost everything in the war. They are leveling the ground, building shelving, installing appliances and more. This training and mentorship is providing practical construction skills to young adults while providing hope to those in great need.
Some teens are also working with another partner delivering firewood and bread for needy families in eastern Ukraine (the bakery providing this bread was supported by AFFEO).
Through these mentoring and life-skills training programs, more teens are hearing the message of God’s love and are becoming better equipped to withstand the challenges of adult life:
- They are learning that they have a tremendous gift to offer the world.
- They are learning of God’s love and vision for family, empowering them to end the cycle of orphanhood.
- They are serving others while rebuilding and restoring their own hope.
We need your prayers that programs like this will have a profound impact on this generation and on generations to come.
Please pray that God would specially anoint the mentors leading these programs to have the love, skills and discipline needed to equip aging-out teens to successfully manage adult life. May the Lord abundantly bless them for investing so much time and effort into these young lives!
Please also pray for the teens going through mentoring and life-skills training programs to truly realize their value in the world while coming to understand how much God loves them and wants a personal relationship with them. Pray that these days of study and hard work would have a deep, lasting and eternal effect.
Thank you for standing with these often-forgotten young adults in prayer — we trust that the Lord will extravagantly meet their needs as a result.