A grandmother, Maria, standing with her arms around her family, a 12 year old girl, and two boys 9 and 7, outside their blue front door. They're all dressed in warm coats, and are smiling

Where we work Ukraine

Why we work in Ukraine

Before the war, Ukraine had one of the largest orphanage systems in Europe, with almost 100,000 children living in 663 orphanages. 

Since the start of the war, we’ve supported 62,823 people in Ukraine – 33,579 of which were children.

Our Ukraine crisis response so far

Our achievements in Ukraine since 1998 mean we’re uniquely positioned to respond to this crisis. Since 24th February, we’ve directly helped 62,823 people in Ukraine (33,579 of which were children), 7,882 in Romania and 12,006 refugees in Moldova.

  • We’ve successfully advocated for the protection of Ukraine’s 100,000 children in orphanages, ensuring these children are monitored, tracked and recognised by the humanitarian system.
  • In Ukraine, we’ve provided practical, life-saving humanitarian support, including essential items like food, clothes and hygiene kits, school supplies like rucksacks, notebooks and pens and winter essentials like warm clothes, blankets, heaters, torches and power banks.
  • We’ve also helped safely evacuate 199 children from orphanages or support centres in Ukraine to other countries, helped prevent 5,595 children from being separated from 3,192 families and supported 255 children who had been sent home from institutions with no support.
  • In Moldova, we’ve supported over 12,000 refugees from Ukraine with essential needs, emotional support and referral services. We’ve supported many unaccompanied children into foster families, and provided additional financial support to 213 refugees (124 children and 89 adults) living in communities. We’ve also supported 14 Refugee Accommodation Centres.
  • In Romania, we’ve supported over 7,000 refugee children and families arriving from Ukraine, including unaccompanied children, with vital essentials. And we’ve helped the authorities prepare centres for children and carers evacuated from Ukrainian orphanages.

and much more.

"It’s hard to adjust"

Hear from our Ukraine Director, Halyna Polstoliuk as she describes the most challenging year of her life: leading a team during the war

Read Halyna's story

What we do in Ukraine

Develop alternatives to orphanages

Our work began with the development of a number of family-based alternatives to institutional care, followed by the creation of services for mothers and babies. Since then, the mother and baby units have been replicated successfully in other areas of the country. 

Close orphanages

In 2007 we began a pilot closure of an orphanage near Kyiv, allowing us to demonstrate how, through the development of quality family support services and family-based alternative care, institutions are unnecessary. As a result of this project, the first Centre for Social Support was created in 2010.  

Prevent family breakdown

Our work to prevent family breakdown has seen us invest in a mix of bespoke family and community-based services. We have developed a network of day centres, emergency reception centres, mother and baby units and community centres to support families and to date have successfully worked with over 6,200 children and their families. 

I didn’t feel like a person.

Galina was trapped in an abusive marriage and close to despair. She knew that if she left with nowhere to live, Ivan and her older son, Roman, might both be taken from her and sent to live in an orphanage with no one to love or protect them.

Read Galina's story

“I will be grateful all my life for the help I’ve been given. Here help is not just words, it’s real”.

Galina, supported to keep her children through our programmes

Train professionals in deinstitutionalisation

Over the years, over 7,000 participants have benefited from our specialist training programmes, gaining invaluable skills in how to implement and support the deinstitutionalisation process. 

Work with the government

We have worked closely with the Government of Ukraine on the development of policy, service standards and national action plans to consolidate reform of the child protection system. 

In November 2016, we celebrated the Government of Ukraine’s decision to officially recognise Hope and Homes for Children’s Centre for Social Support. A key milestone in recognising the centre’s effectiveness in strengthening families and preventing children from entering the care system, the endorsement of the Ukrainian Government means these services could now be replicated across Ukraine. 

Our work in numbers

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

children supported since the start of the war

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

children safely evacuated from orphanages or support centres

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

children prevented from being separated from their families