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"Reaching people for Christ: Helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future."


Ukraine Page

Why we work here

Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe and gained independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ukraine has continued to struggle with achieving closer integration with Europe while maintaining relations with Russia. The recent conflict in eastern Ukraine has characterised these challenges. Ukraine was also the location of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Millions of people suffered as a result of the disaster and many people continue to be affected by contamination. Ukraine has increasingly been used as a source and transit point for forced labour and sex trafficking. The country has struggled to police this issue and falls short of internationally recognised standards for the elimination of trafficking. We work extensively in Ukraine, particularly providing educational and vocational opportunities to help reduce the risk of young people being trafficked or entering into criminal activities. More recently, we have been providing humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict in the east and offering assistance to refugees resettling in other parts of the country.


Key facts

The average age children go to school until is 15 years

There are approx. 1.4 million internally displaced people in Ukraine 

25% of the population live below the poverty line


The difference we make - Dima's Story

Eighteen-year-old Dima lives in a dormitory at the vocational school here he studies to become a carpenter. Dima was brought up in two state institutions that MWB works with. Before that Dima lived with his mum who drank heavily and was unable to provide a safe environment for him.  His mum often left home for a long time, and Dima and his sister stayed with his grandmother.

Dima recalls, "I remember as a child, I always wanted my mother to become a real mum. I dreamt that one day she would give up drinking and smoking and would stay at home with me forever. In fact, I had no relationship with her, and we have never been close. We didn't spend time together, and she was a stranger to me. I had to stay with my grandmother who didn't love me because I was an illegitimate child. She used to kick me out of the house and I spent most of the time outside. I would come home only when I was hungry, but she still wouldn't give me something [to eat]."


At the age of six, Dima was taken out of his mother's care and sent to a state home. His mum died from cancer when Dima was eleven, and that state assigned him orphan status. Dima shares, "As an orphan, I had to stay in the boarding home the whole year long. Nobody came to take me home for school holidays while all other children were taken home by some relatives. I wanted to go home so much and be like all the other kids! Several times I even tried to escape from the school and to run home."

We met Dima at the home and worked with him to provide emotional and material support. We helped him with his education, social integration and provided counselling to help him handle all of the difficult experiences he'd been through. Dima thinks that it was our summer camps that influenced him the most. He went to camp five times during his school years. That was a very special time for Dima. He was so impressed by the atmosphere of love and acceptance there; that was something new and incredibly enjoyable for him, something that he's never experienced before, neither at his home nor at the orphanage.


Camps had such an impact on Dima that he volunteers to help our team at summer camps and although he has graduated from school, Dima still keeps in touch with his MWB co-ordinator. Dima dreams of finding a good job after his studies and to have a happy family of his own.  He also plans to be baptized in one of the local Pentecostal churches. Dima never believed he could have such a future but helping to raise his self-esteem give him opportunities to see a world outside the institution where he lived changed everything.