- Organization Name:Adults Helping Children Today - Ukraine
- Address:P.O. Box 299
Oconto, WI 54153
The mission of Adults Helping Children Today - Ukraine is to respect and nurture the potential of every child by improving the living conditions of Ukraine's underpriviledged children by assisting existing organizations to provide for their basic needs.
Although Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Eastern Europe it is one of the poorest. According to the World Bank, the poverty rate in Ukraine falls with age and is highest among infants and children, followed by adolescents and young adults. According to UNICEF, of Ukraine's 9 million children approximately 65,000 live in state run children's institutions such as orphanages and boarding schools. The number of children in institutions has doubled in the past ten years, despite the fact that the population of Ukraine continues to decline. Another estimated 129,000 children are living on the streets of Ukraine. It is estimated that only 10% of these children were orphaned as a result of the death of their parent(s). The other 90% include children abandoned by parents who could not cope with the tough economic conditions and children who were removed from their homes by authorities.
The government funding provided to the orphanages and boarding schools of Ukraine is minimal. Children struggle with a lack of basic necessities, water, heat and plumbing. The facilities themselves often date back to WWII and are in serious ill repair, creating a dangerous and scary place for the children to live. Institutions in the poorest regions of Ukraine do not have enough funding to provide educational services and the children spend their days hanging around with other orphans, walking to the nearest village for cigarettes and working in the beet fields. Children leave the orphanages and boarding schools as young adults who are not equipped to manage the responsibilities of every day life or maintain healthy relationships. They are at high risk for alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, and criminal activity.
Children living on the streets of Ukraine struggle day to day to survive and must find copeing mechanisms to deal with their dangerous and bleak reality. These children beg, look for odd jobs, steal, collect bottles or metal for recycling and dig through dumpsters. They sleep under roadways, in basements, attics, abandoned houses, underground storage tanks and heating ducts. Most of these children are in terrible health, suffering from skin and infectious diseases. All of these children face other challenges to their health and safety in the form of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Children on the streets of Ukraine are also often subject to the harmful influence of adults who draw them into child prostitution, child pornography and human trafficking.
The tragic life stories of these children go largely unknown. Government funding is woefully inadequate and many in Ukraine would rather deny the problem than work together to address the problem. Our mission at ACT-UA is to make a positive difference in the lives of these children. We accomplish this by financially supporting and collaborating with worthy Ukrainian organizations. We look specifically for organizations whose services equip these children with the skills, resources and hope necessary to lift themselves out of poverty and reintegrate into Ukrainian society. We have found we can have the greatest impact by partnering with existing organizations rather than building new.
ACT-UA is supported by a dedicated Board of Governors, individual donors, the Leon H. & Clymene M. Bond Foundation, the International Foundation, the Maria Hulai Lion Foundation, the Harris Family Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the Dreyfus Foundation and our parent organization Adults Helping Children Today, Inc. (ACT-Inc.). We are proud to report that with the support of our parent organization we are able to commit 100% of the donations received to programs and organizations meeting the needs of homeless and orphaned children in Ukraine. As required by the IRS, all donations to ACT-UA must flow through ACT-Inc.
Adults Helping Children Today - Ukraine (ACT-UA) was founded by Earl DeCloux in 2006. In 2001, Mr. DeCloux traveled to Ukraine and was overwhelmed by the number of homeless and orphaned children living on the streets of Ukraine and the lack of resources to meet their basic needs. Mr. DeCloux made it his mission to make a difference in the lives of these children and in 2005 started Adults Helping Children Today, Inc., ACT-UA's parent organization. Mr. DeCloux also established a home and office in Ukraine and spends the majority of the year living there and focusing on our mission.
Mr. DeCloux is not new to meeting the needs of underpriviledged children. In 1993, Mr. DeCloux and his long time friend and mentor, Leon Bond, started the Bond Community Center and Bond Foundation. Mr. DeCloux was named President of the foundation and since 1993 has worked with the foundation to provide over $2 million dollars of support and resources to underprivileged children in his home state of Wisconsin.
ACT-UA has been operating successfully for approximately four years and has provided over $200,000 in financial support to organizations in Ukraine meeting the needs of homeless and orphaned children. ACT-UA's initial goal was to open day centers for homeless children where they would be provided with nutritious meals, medical care, hot showers, clothing, laundry facilities, educational and psychological services. In March of 2006, we realized this goal and the Odessa Day Center was opened. Each day the Odessa Day center provided services to homeless children through the dedication of a staff that included a psychologist, social teacher, cook, maintenance and security personnel and fitness instructor.
ACT-UA's original plan of action involved the creation of additional day centers in areas with an identified need. After careful evaluation it became clear that this plan of action would be extremely difficult with the current government structure and the widespread corruption faced by those attempting to work within the government framework. After much reflection and discussion the Board decided to change the focus from building new facilities to partnering with and supporting existing organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of these children. Some examples of our collaborations in 2011 include:
*Purchased 30 beds and 120 bed stands for children living at the Chernigiv Boarding School.
*Funded and coordinated the renovation of the "Sports Hall" of the Chernigiv Children's Boarding School.
*Financially supported Hope For Orphans camps for orphans.
*Secured funding for a specialized bike for ten year old twin girls from Yuzhne, UA living with Infantile Cerebral Paralysis.
*Funded the translation and publication of the book Wounded Children, Healing Homes a valuable resource for foster parents, adoptive parents, trainers and professionals.
- Year established:2006
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:Operating
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Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- Human Services:High
- Public Benefit, Society Benefit:Medium
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)