Medically fragile children and those with special needs are a distinct concern of A Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO). So we were excited to learn that one of the nine countries where we serve is hoping to join hands with a ministry specifically designed for such children.
Champions Club is a ministry specialized in ministering to—and designing developmental areas for—kids, teens, and adults with special needs as well as the medically fragile. They welcome ALL individuals with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other diagnoses and medical conditions. There are more than 100 Champions Clubs in 22 nations.
Recently the Save Ukraine team met in Irpin, Ukraine with the developer and creator of Champions Club. (Save Ukraine is one of AFFEO‘s Ukrainian partners.) During the meeting, participants discussed the obstacles faced by disabled children and their parents and the needs of such families in Ukrainian society. Participants also visited some parents of children with disabilities, the head of Children’s Services in Irpin, and other entities.
At the initial meeting, the Champions Club developer presented how their model assists in the development of special needs children, teenagers, and adults in four specific areas —spiritual, emotional, physical, and creative. Since two of the primary reasons that children go into institutions in Ukraine are poverty and disability, hopes are high that this program could support families with children who have disabilities by giving parents a safe place to bring their children during the day.
Pending a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Save Ukraine plans to implement the Champions Club program in Irpin — and hopes to expand it to other areas of the country. Won’t you please pray with us that this program will (1) help families to find respite in their often difficult situations, (2) connect with other parents on a similar journey, and/or (3) find time to work—all critical components that can help children remain in their homes and not be sent to institutions.
Thank you for remembering this unique approach to children with special needs and those who are implementing it. We will keep you updated as it develops.