UKRAINE - Destiny Center for Orphan Students

Community Based Care

$39,533 raised
249
donations

Destiny Center was started in 2008 with the goal to help orphanage graduates and teenagers adapt to an independent life. This is accomplished through a variety of programs that focus on developing relationships with the students and helping them through everyday life situations.

After students go through Destiny Center programs, many return as volunteers so that they can touch other orphans and help them walk through similar challenges they have faced. Not only does this give these young adults a sense of responsibility and contribution, it solidifies their place in a community that is there for them through good and difficult times.

 

Get Involved

Project Updates

  • On Christmas Eve 43 children and 21 parents filled the hall and cafeteria with joyous noise at Kharkov Christian Church. The church bus picked up mothers and their children from the metro station and brought them into the welcoming atmoshpere of the church where our volunteers were ready with friendly smiles, hugs, and a delicious meal to serve. Some made the long trip from their villages in nasty weather, and we were touched to see how great their desire was to come.

    Christmas activities were arranged for each age group of children. A youth team led the adults in hymns and a message was shared about gifts from our Heavenly Father. We were able to send everyone home with gifts of their own - sweet bags, food bags, and clothing!

    Thank you to our Ukraine donors for making these gifts possible!

  • HOPE founder, Ralph Bromley, recently visited Kharkiv, Ukraine and shared a moving story of the courage of an orphan . . .

    “I want to share an amazing story from Kharkiv, Ukraine where Donna and I recently visited. It is a story of Destiny Center’s deep love and care for the orphan. It is a story of touching lives in a significant way, one person at a time.

    When we were greeted at the airport by Kostyantyn (Destiny Center), we were asked if we would like to drive into the countryside to meet with an orphaned mother and her child in their home. We welcomed the invitation.

    We drove through the lush countryside for over an hour and I was beginning to wonder if we were going to wind up in Russia. Our host informed us that it would be just another 45 minutes. It was then that I began to ponder, “wow, they are taking us on a two hour drive just to visit with one orphaned mother that they disciple and care for! This is quite a demonstration of love.”

    We finally arrived and drove up to a somewhat dilapidated house and met Yessa and her son, Daniel. She was shy and ashamed of her poor home but welcomed us in. There was no indoor toilet or running water. The floors were uneven boards and the three windows sat loosely in their moldings. I sat on the one chair in the room and watched quietly.

    Yessa was abandoned as a young girl by her parents and raised in a government orphanage. Life was difficult but she survived and soon ‘aged’ out. Cast into a troubled world of poverty, unemployment and no education, Yessa soon found herself pregnant. In her distress she made two important decisions.

    1. To Follow Jesus - Yessa had learned about Jesus from the Destiny team who visited the orphanage. Her knowledge was very limited, but it made the difference between making wise decisions versus entering a world of prostitution and drugs which so many others choose.

    2. To Buy a House - Upon exiting from the orphan institutions, the Ukraine government gives each orphan a lump sum gift to get them started in life. Most orphans squander the funds soon after the money is in their pockets and wind up destitute, but Yessa found this dilapidated house owned by the government and bought it! She freezes in the winter and swelters in the summer, but this house is her home. She was somewhat ashamed of it (she told our host 3 times that she was ashamed and embarrassed), but I was so proud of her. This was a lady of courage and determination!

    I began thinking of practical ways we could help Yessa. My eyes turned to the windows. I knew from the cotton stuffed in the cracks for insulation that the cold winds of winter would enter the room unchallenged. Why not ask questions about replacing the three windows?

    Kostyantyn got on the phone to a local friend in construction. Over the phone he estimated the total cost of replacing two non-opening windows would be $100 (including labor). I said “let’s do it!” A good friend had provided me with ‘donor’ funds prior to my travels to the Ukraine. I made the commitment.

    The third window, which could be opened, would cost $150. Rather than ‘gift’ this window to Yessa, Kostyantyn felt it best that she learn to budget funds from her meagre monthly government pension. I suggested that if she raises $50 towards the window, that HOPE provides the balance of $100 as a gift.

    When we went to leave Yessa’s home, she ran to her small garden patch and picked the remaining beets she had grown, cleaned them, and placed them in a bag for us to take home.

    Knowing these beets were destined for her root cellar, we tried to decline her offer. In the end we accepted four of the beets, kissed her goodbye and returned to our comfortable hotel.

    I left Yessa’s home deeply blessed. She, who had so little, gave us so much. I understand just a bit better why God’s heart is so lovingly turned towards each orphan.

  • HOPE Founder, Ralph Bromley, is visiting HOPE Agents in the Ukraine and shares his story from the road . . .

     

    “Greetings from Kharkiv.

    We were met by Kostyantyn (from Destiny Center) at the airport and driven to our hotel to drop off our luggage and then driven to the city center for a lovely Ukrainian dinner. We were surprised by the warmth and beauty of Kharkiv.

    The following day we visited a vocational/technical training centre for 300 students. 70 of the students enrolled are orphans who reside in an adjacent dormitory.

    Students train for one to two years in 'trader's courses' and are all employed at the end of their training. The courses are taught with a high level of excellence . . . both academic and 'hands on’ training.

    I was most impressed with the heart that the school director and staff had for their students. The academic program is integrated with sports, the arts, exposure to social issues and local exhibitions.

    Kostyantyn and HOPE work closely with the school director and run an Alpha course in the college residents facility. The relationship between the school, the students and Destiny Center is very impressive.”

    Here are some pictures from the Trade's school, showing the masonry and carpentry training facility....

     

  • The next level in our relationships with former orphan girls - nowadays mothers: they feel comfortable enough to come to a picnic at the territory of the local protestant church.


    For many years back in the times of Soviet Union, Orthodox church under supervision of communists had been doing propaganda in Ukraine and Russia against people who attend protestant churches. Many people still believe that non-Orthodox churches are sects and 'if you get there, they will hypnotise you into selling your apartment and giving them all the money'.
    Orphans, raised by the orphanage teachers with old regime mentality, are often particularly suspicious to believers. Step by step, from visits to the orphanages to our Alpha courses and hiking trips we work to destroy godless stereotypes in orphans' minds and teach them that church is a family.


    So, 18 orphan parents and 25 children were courageous enough to come to the picnic at the backyard of Kharkiv Christian Church (KHCC) and to give their children to Sunday school teachers for one and a half hours. We started with light snacks, then played some games together in the beautiful Birch Grove. One of DC volunteers, Svetlana, an experienced coach and a world champion in tae-kwon-do, shared her testimony and led everybody in short praise and worship time. Then we had a discussion and prayer time in small groups, enjoyed the barbecue, and at the end the children got little gifts.

  • It took us about a month to prepare for the Christmas Party for moms-orphanage graduates with their children, but it was worth it. This time we did is together with Kharkiv Christian Church and it was great! 16 young mothers and 18 children (1-6 years old) got a tasty and nutritious meal, lots of fun and games, gifts and the most important - a Christmas story as a part of the message on why Christmas is a family holiday. 
    Thanks to the donations of our Ukrainian friends the children got sweet gifts and bright Bibles for Children. The church presented the guests with interactive advent calendars and thanks to our Canadian donors we could buy the mothers nice body care cosmetics. The Sunday school teachers of Kharkiv Christian Church did 90-minute Christmas program for the children which allowed us to spend quality time with the mothers. For some of them such events become turning points - and that's exactly what we are praying for. One of the moms had been going to leave her children and their father and go to Poland and work and live there. After listening to the message and talking to our volunteers at the party she decided to stay with her children and their father.

  • Since 2003, HOPE partner Slava Mykhalchenko has been working with the state-run orphanages to improve the lives of institutionalized children in Ukraine by giving them the necessary tools to survive and grow. A father of four, Slava continues his work in the area through Destiny Center in Kharkov.

     

    Starting in 2004, in partnership with RU4Children in Texas, Slava launched the first bible camp outreach taking in just 20 children and operated it with only 2 volunteers. Since then the movement has expanded into a yearly summer camp for 60 orphans plus 2 hiking leadership camps that take in another 40 kids.

     

    The majority of orphans in Ukraine are social orphans that are the result of parental abandonment or imprisonment, or abuse. Eighty percent (80%) of graduated orphans in Ukraine end up engaging in prostitution and crime. These disturbing statistics outline the fate set before the children in the area as they are deprived of basic education and life skill training. Slava and HOPE have and continue to work on changing those statistics.

     

    In 2008, in partnership with HOPE, the Discovery Center was built in Kharkov. The goal of the Center is to empower orphanage graduates through education to help them adapt and live their independent lives. The Center provides english and computer classes, hiking camps, team building training, support groups, and much more.

     

    Slava has seen the positive changes first-hand. “. . .when we go to Bible camp and take our volunteers, some of them were orphans that we started to work with 10 years ago,” said Slava in regards to his work in Ukraine. “We have Oleg who is one of the ALPHA leaders and he was found as a thrown away baby. He spent all his life in the orphanage and now he is a normal guy and helping others.”

    The Destiny Center continues to reinforce the concept of family for orphans through education and training, giving hope and destiny to children growing up within the system. The belief is simple, if you can give the children the necessary grassroots skills to not only endure but to grow as a community, they won’t just survive, they’ll be able to build on their education and create a better future.

     

    In compliance with Canada’s new anti-spam law we are kindly requesting your expressed consent so we can continue sending you amazing news, event, and updates from HOPE.

    In order for you to continue receiving communications please confirm your consent by following this link.

  •  
    Destiny Center (DC) is the volunteers who implement DC vision: faithful supporters who believe in the vision such as churches, ministries, corporations; and most of all those numerous orphan kids and young adults who choose to believe in their Destiny when challenged by orphan life.We all share this vision - that orphans and volunteers experience transformation, renewed dignity and sense of purpose through the process of discovering their DESTINY.
    Nobody dreams to be an ORPHAN. And there is no Destiny like an orphan life. In different parts of the world it happens due to different circumstances. In Ukraine most orphans are social orphans - the direct result of alcoholism, abandonment, or the imprisonment of the parents. And thus it determines the needs of orphans or the tools we can use to help them.
    Each orphan child's story is such a unique mix of heavy challenges. From the years of experience working with orphans in Ukraine we can tell that it really helps the children and young people if they find who they are and know their Destiny.
    DC runs different projects and uses different tools to help those orphans but the most important part of the ministry is DC volunteers, their personal lives and faith in their personal DESTINY which they practice in every day life. That is what orphans see and it catches their attention.

Show More
$39,533 raised
249
donations

Fundraisers

Sign Up

Sign up for email updates and stay connected!

Get the latest updates from our hard-working country partners across the globe and here at home.

We want to keep you in the loop on:

  • Project updates
  • New partnerships
  • Campaign and event info
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • And more!

Sign Up