What Is Happening?
is overwhelmed by the third wave of homelessness. However, unlike
the first two waves (periods of civil war and Great Patriotic war
when children were out in the street owing to death of their parents,
the parents of present homeless children are safe and sound…
Why do the children leave their home? Many of them were merely turned
out of the house, and others fled from violence committed by their
people. Many families find themselves out of doors altogether as
they occured to be unable to survive in hard economic conditions.
How do the children survive out in the street? They
united into groups, worked out their rules and habits. They earn
their living in every possible way honestly and not very honestly.
They wash cars, carry heavy things, beg, steal, get engaged in prostitution…
Naturally, the children who stay out of doors do not go to school.
First of all, they have no time, secondly, they do not wish to come
to other children any more as they feel themselves a social outcast
among them, and, thirdly, they are not enrolled at school. Besides,
they are not enrolled for medical aid, for issuing school-leaving
certificates, passports of citizens of Ukraine… They stay out in
the street in the day-time and spend nights in vaults and garrets.
They start smoking early, take strong drinks, smell toxic glue,
and then take other drugs to make their lives brighter. They are
with us but in a parallel world where there are other rules, laws
We Are Doing?
In the year of 2000 we set up a Day Stay Center for
street children and teenagers in the day-time. Little customers
of the Center can get not only first medical aid, clean clothes
and hot meal here but also play, draw, watch TV, and do many other
things. Nearly 20 children and teenagers of 10 to 18 address the
Center every day. They go through a complex period of formation
of their personality and need special attention and approach. Then
the rehabilitation of children and teenagers in their critical state
involves two aspects: social rehabilitation and medico-psychological
|Search for parents and relatives
of children who addressed the Center, and meeting such parents
Teaching the Russian language, mathematics, drawing
Sports gymnastics, ushu classes
Attending cultural arrangements: plays, concerts
Creative development: publishing mini-paper, participation in
|Preliminary examination, first medical
aid, assistance in hospitalization
Regular medical examinations for HIV, venereal diseases, tuberculosis,
other infectious diseases
Regular hygienic arrangements (shower, hair cut, giving clean
Mutual assistance groups
Training and consultation in sexual relations, harm of toxomania,
drug addiction, alcoholism
A social patrol of elder teenagers who are under rehabilitation
at the Center is organized. They go out to the streets of the city
every day. A basic consulting principle - "an equal to equal"
- is used. One of the main topics of consulting nowadays is the
harm of toxomania and drug addiction.
(The Island) creative group has been formed recently but it is well-known
already. The group includes children who achieved the best results
in ushu. Ushu sports gymnastics enables them not only to control
their body but also to present themselves to others. They perform
at various concerts in the city, at churches, schools. The next
plan of the group is the creation of a play about its life. They
will write a scenario themselves, perform the play…
What We Are Planning To Do?
It is evident that, in order to solve such a difficult
problem as homelessness of children, it is necessary to combine
together all existing programs of rehabilitation and organization
of leisure-time, i. e. formation of a rehabilitation environment.
This will allow a child not to be isolated within one and the same
orphanage but to meet children of the same age during the day at
school, various hobby groups, sports sections, studios.
Social patrol is an efficient means of rehabilitation as it enables
a teenager to feel responsibility for others, to feel that he/she
required and needed. One always wants to make the next step, i.
e. to learn, acquire a profession, create own family and home.
The next step of social patrol will be not only assistance to other
children who stay out of doors but the prevention of children's
homelessness, meeting the children and parents, help in the recovery
of mutual understanding.