Hoosiers Help Ukraine Stop Its Vicious Orphanage Cycle
Indianapolis-based Last Bell Ministries is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of young orphanage graduates.
Indianapolis, IN, March 4, 2016 (Newswire.com) - Indianapolis-based Last Bell Ministries is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of young orphanage graduates.
In post-Soviet Ukraine, there’s a widespread stigma against orphans. They’re called "throwaway kids" and they know it. About sixteen years old at their orphanage graduation ceremonies, Ukraine's 150,000 orphans contribute disproportionately to the nation's prison, human trafficking, alcoholism, and suicide statistics. These things maintain the ugly fact that most children arrive in orphanage institutions by the voluntary will of their living parents. A vicious cycle occurs where one generation brings forth the next generation of orphans.
In 2006, a partnership began between caring people in Indianapolis and Zhytomyr (sounds like “Zha-tow-mer”), Ukraine. Today, a staff of seventeen Ukrainians is joined by a collective of supportive Hoosiers. Together they guide these adolescents to lives of hope and purpose. They’re engaged in a caring community, given mentoring opportunities, vocational development, legal assistance, and more. A goal is that the youth will eventually stop the orphanage cycle by having their own thriving families.
With ten years of serving orphanage graduates in the same region, word has spread in Europe and the U.S. about this life-affirming work. This movement is growing as the lives of those helping are being transformed alongside those being helped.
Last Bell’s Ukrainian leaders will be in Indiana in from March 9-20, and, with some of their Hoosier counterparts, are available for press inquiries.
Last Bell is funded entirely by U.S. donors and is hosting a fundraising dinner on Saturday, March 19, 6:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Noblesville, Indiana. Event tickets are $50, and a table for 8 is $375. Tickets are tax deductible and available online at LastBell.org, or by calling 317-501-2782. Guests will be treated to dinner, entertainment, and good conversation; all of which will benefit the Ukrainian orphanage graduates. Last Bell Ministries is an Indiana registered non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation.