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What Is Happening?

Ukraine 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 and prospects.

What 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 rehabilitation.

 

Social rehabilitation
Medico-psychological rehabilitation
Search for parents and relatives of children who addressed the Center, and meeting such parents and relatives
Teaching the Russian language, mathematics, drawing
Sports gymnastics, ushu classes
Attending cultural arrangements: plays, concerts
Social patrol
Creative development: publishing mini-paper, participation in public performances
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 clothes)
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.
OSTROV (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.






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