We operate to change the life of orphaned children

“CHILDREN IN UKRAINE” is a program of Compassion Is Life, a U.S. Registered charity. We are a team of Ukrainian children services experts: some born and raised in Ukraine, others – Americans and British committed to serving Ukrainian at-risk children.

Compassion is Life differs from other large child rehabilitation and sponsorship groups in that we focus all our attention and resources on helping children in just one country: Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine does not need an introduction today. Over 8 million children have been affected by the ongoing war as reported by the UN. Some of them lost one or both parents, some don’t have enough food and access to proper medical care and education. All have suffered significant psychological trauma. Our rehab and sponsorship mission is to provide relief and address these issues as much as we can. Despite the horrible war and related challenges we strive to empower Ukrainian children to become healthy, educated and productive young adults. We believe and work towards children being:

  • Safe. We will provide funding whenever possible to help children evacuate if their area becomes dangerous because of the war or natural causes.
  • Healthy. We share with our children healthy behaviors and practices. We help them receive health and dental services as well as connect them with medical resources.
  • Educated. Despite all dangers and difficulties we bring education to their doorstep and remind them it’s a key factor for future success. We help children and their parents / guardians to cover school expenses, tutoring support, computer literacy.
  • Self-confident and empowered. We deal with trauma and provide psychological support, share with children social responsibility, help them develop their leadership potential, team-building, conflict resolution and more. Wherever appropriate — we provide technical training, as well as the skills needed to look for jobs.

Our history starts in 1995 when “Compassion Is Life” Founder and CEO Konstantin Yakubenko (at the time manager of U.S. Government funded social service programs) walked into Ukrainian orphanages and saw first hand the situation with orphans and other disadvantaged children of Ukraine. That sparked the desire to get involved, a journey and legacy which carries out until this day. United with like-minded child care specialists assistance to needy children of Ukraine was launched. Thousands of Ukrainian needy children have been sponsored and helped by us from 2004 when our first non-profit organization was formed! Our team started its work in Ukraine as “Social Development Foundation”, an international service charity assisting needy children mainly in Ukrainian orphanages. Further research of the situation with at-risk children in Ukraine was necessary and we launched an assessment of disadvantaged children in 2005 which was published in Ukraine and can be accessed here. Our team pushed and influenced a reform in at-risk children sector after Victor Yuschenko became the President of Ukraine in 2005 and thousands of foster families and family type homes emerged throughout Ukraine for the first time in its history. Sadly, ubiquitous corruption among government officials including at the top level and corresponding economic hardships did not allow the at-risk children reform to be completed as planned and oligarchic clans pushed the reform-minded pro-western President Yuschenko out of power. Our team saw the skidding unfinished reform not ushering the desired results as we added international hosting to our sponsorship program. Thousands of our sponsored Ukrainian children have travelled to the United States and Italy under our teams guardianship and with advice and support to extended to our partner organizations. Thousands of orphans from our program were adopted by American, Canadian, Italian and local families as a result of our direct involvement and facilitation. Years went by as economic situation in Ukraine deteriorated, naturally hitting the most vulnerable – the children. Ultimately, Ukraine became the poorest country in Europe. The second revolution in 2013/2014 and consequent beginning of first phase of war with Russia took poverty to a new level while we continued with sponsorships, hostings and adoptions. Already having all these economic and social hardships on February 24, 2022 a full scale Russian military invasion to Ukraine commenced. The government of Ukraine has suspended all international hosting trips and all adoptions which in addition to sponsorship used to be important mechanisms for U.S. families and international charities including ours to help the most needy Ukrainian children. Per today – rehabilitation and sponsorship is the ONLY remaining mechanism to DIRECTLY assist a Ukrainian orphan or disadvantaged child.

Our sponsored
children in 2007

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