Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
- Helen Keller
The social stigma of an “orphan” is a challenge to overcome in Ukrainian society. The bleak economic reality faced by a 17 year old being released from an orphanage is even worse. What do they do? Without help, the scenario is scary. Options include prostitution, crime, drug abuse or suicide. With no family or stable support system, they have little hope.
UAC's Orphaned Teen Scholarship Program is a unique opportunity to make a dramatic difference in a young person’s life. The kids receiving scholarships all come from orphanages in Odessa, Ukraine. They live and study in the orphanage. The State releases them at the end of the 11th grade.
In these troubled times, our program gives them their only real chance to “make it” in the outside world. The education they receive within the institution itself does not compare to their local counterparts. All of these students need special preparatory classes. They also need essentials like clothing, food, basic health care and ongoing emotional and psychological support. Our program, working with local staff and medical and educational professionals, can provide all of this for them. We serve as surrogate parents through their transition period from the orphanage to the university or vocational school they attend.
Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than 500 teens have pursued higher education with our help. They return to the orphanage once a week to earn their monthly stipend (50 USD) working with the kids they left behind. They are sharing their knowledge and special gifts. We, with your help, will support them for a full year after graduation. Our dream is to be able to support them all throughout their college years. The resilience and determination of these young people is truly inspiring! You can read some of their stories of success here.
It is amazing the power that having someone else believe in them gives them. They have been given a hard road to travel. They understand the importance of taking the chance that we give them. These teens are enthusiastic, motivated and extremely grateful! Please become a sponsor today and help us make their dreams a reality.
Scholarship Program staff provide the teens with support and guidance.
The teens return to the orphanages once a week to earn their monthly stipend working with the kids they left behind or helping with general orphanage maintenance.
Mandatory monthly Scholarship Program meetings allow UAC staff to check on students' progress and discuss their current needs. Students submit work reports and letters to their sponsor at each meeting.
Hello, dear Clara!
After the March meeting I had a very warm feeling. I was looking at John (UAC volunteer), UAC’s Peter, Igor, Maxim and Alla’s faces and understood a simple truth – It would be very hard without this program; not because of money but because we have people who support us during difficult times, smile when we have success, look strictly upon us if we lose our way, and pull us back from the “precipices”. You are far from us but you are near us with your deeds.
God’s help, happiness and health to you!
Hello, dear Clara!
First of all I want to thank you for taking part in our lives! Thank you for helping us during difficult times when we had no one else who could help us. Your help and the help from everyone who works for UAC truly supports all of us.
Dear Clara, you and UAC helped me so much during my studies. You helped me with medicine, eyeglasses, an operation and with many other things. Thank you very much for the help with repairing my apartment. Thank you for answering my requests when I needed your help. I always felt your helping hand, even though you lived far from me. Thank you for being with me and solving my problems. Thanks to you and the UAC organization, I got an education. If it were not for you, I would have been forced to give up studying in order to solve my problems.
Thank you for visiting us and organizing a meeting for all of the graduates!
I thank everybody who works/worked in your organization-- Irina, Peter, Maxim, Igor, Alla and all the rest—for their care!
Dear Clara, thank you for everything you did for me! May God save you and help you, your staff, your family and friends!
With respect and gratitude,
(graduate of Odessa Polytechnic Unviersity)
Hello, dear Clara Pascal,
I want to thank you for your help and care. Thank you for supporting me for all these years. Thanks to you, I achieved my main goal – I finished studying and got a diploma and now have a profession I always dreamed about. I got my specialty thanks to the Scholarship Program. It was very pleasant for me to be a participant of it because many of my friends participated as well. Thanks to you, I communicate with orphans and prepare them for adult life.
I would like to tell you good-bye because I've finished studying and won't be participating in the program any longer. Thank you very much for all your help.