LifeNets Commits to Helping 
 Orphans and Street Children 
in Vinogradov, Ukraine

by Victor Kubik

Special thanks goes to Scott & Carolyn Scharpen of The Scharpen Foundation for their support of the Vinogradov Program.

July 26, 2001

On a visit to Ukraine from June 18-28, 2001 I came across the work of a minister with whom I've been acquainted with off and on in the nearly ten years that I've been working in Western Ukraine. His name is Vasyl Polichko from Vinogradov, a town situated very close to the Hungarian-Ukraine and Rumanian borders.  

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The city's name mean "vineyard." It is beautifully situated in the Carpathian Mountains. But, not everything with the people in the of the former Soviet Republics is beautiful. It has a high share of orphans and street children. 

Vasyl Polichko has been struggling to help them. I had not realized how hard he's worked until this journey. 

We have been helping with various projects in Western Ukraine that included setting up computer schools, dental and optical support summer camps for children, providing food for refugees.  After visiting Vasyl Polichko and his supportive wife Irina, I could not help but think about helping him in his valiant effort to help throwaway children who I saw with my own eyes in the evening. After seeing the dirty children wandering the streets after dark with no place to call a safe home, I told myself that I will do something about this deplorable situation by helping Vasyl Polychko!  


It's night time. What kind of home does she have to go to--if any?  I can't help but wonder what a difference we can make for her?

Our reacquaintance on this trip began when he came to the start of the second session of camp for children in Shayan. He brought a few singers from his church and gave a pep talk to the children starting the session of camp. He also brought a few young adults to help work as overseers and counselors for the children.  

Nina Yurishko, wife of LifeNets Ukraine director, Ivan Yurishko spoke highly of Vasyl Polichko saying that he was a minister who was always available to serve. If camp needed someone or for that matter, whenever and wherever there was a needs, VP was there.  

 

On June 25, 2001, I was to go to a more distant village to see some people I had wanted to follow on from a previous visit in 1999.  But, I had an extended visit with the mayor of Khust who talked to me for more than two hours. Our meeting didn't end until after 7 PM.  It was too late to head for Kushnitsa and Nina Yurishko arranged for us to stop by the closer city of Vinogradov where she felt compelled to have me talk to VP and his work helping children. Afterwards, we all felt that it was Providential that I visited Polichko in Vinogradov. This was a much important meeting and started our discussion about how to practically help these children. VP will give more than food to these children.  A kind word and some sense of Christian caring is a necessity, too.

Polichko has been given rent-free for ten years a government-owned building to use for a soup kitchen for the children. He has started the remodeling process and setting up the kitchen. What is needed now is a commitment of support to maintain the feeding of 40 children every day.  We calculated that cost to be $300 per child, or about $12,000 a year.  I told him that I would see what I could do. After seeing the actual children, I was convinced that it was my Christian duty to make this happen.  


The Ukrainian government has given this older building to Vasyl Polychko to use for ten years rent-free to provide a home for homeless and orphaned children.

Read the words of Vasyl Polichko: 

"When the new democratic government came to Ukraine, freedom to have organizations such as ours was also possible. We formed a Christian nonprofit mission "Light of Love" in Vinogradov. The main focus of the mission is to help the poor, the orphans, the disabled, and to reach out to large families.

"In this economically troubled time things are not coming around easily. Parents are often troubled by the thought of how to provide food for their family. Teachers go on strike because they do not get paid. Therefore, may children have had to fend for themselves. Many of them are orphans or have lost one of their parents. It is sad, but many of the children know their parents only as alcoholics and know only sickness, cold and hunger. The children's lives are often accompanied with beatings, addition to drugs, criminality, prostitution and begging. Constantly we see children searching through garbage cans to something edible. We have wanted our Lord to give these children a special place in our outreach project.

Currently, the mission is expanding its project "Hope for a New Generation"  The building below is being constructed. This house will shelter as many as 50 children and have class rooms, a dining hall, a storage as well as two apartments.

The building has been completed the state shown with the help of friend in Switzerland and Germany that included the main building and a roof. Windows, doors, heating, the floor and the sanitary equipment are not in yet.


LifeNets is going to help Vasyl Polychko with his valiant work by helping to feed some of these street children. We can only help as we are helped. Open your heart to help provide food and shelter for less than a one dollar per day per child. Tax deductible donations may be made to 

        LifeNets
        3707 Turfway Ct.
        Indianapolis, IN 46228

Thank you for caring! 


Photos of Children who will be Helped!


Vasyl Polichko and Victor Kubik



Vasyl and Iryna Polichko

 

 

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