19 Leopard-2 battlefield tanks have been provided to Ukraine by Germany in addition to 100 previous generation Leopard-1 tanks. Other EU countries, Great Britain and the U.S. continue to provide military assistance and ammunition as Ukraine continues to fight with Russia. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Children in Ukraine continue to suffer the most as a result of this horrible invasion. Our team of at-risk children experts receives more and more questions about Ukraine, situation with children, historical nuances.
We continue our series of articles about pre-war Ukraine, the situation with at-risk children in this poorest European country, history of orphans and at-risk children services. Please consider joining efforts to support our individual child sponsorship program to help children in Ukraine when the need is greatest: https://helpchildreninukraine.org/
In this article we will look at the problem of children born out of families and by teenage mothers. About 30,000 such children were born in 2021, the year before the war started. Just as in the rest of Europe the Ukrainian young men and women enter into wedlock less and less each year. Most certainly, economic dire straits the country has been going through since independence in 1991 are largely responsible for the alarming facts described above. Low standards of salaries do not encourage people to have more children, as sometimes the salary is only enough to cover the needs of the earner. The biggest concern is the socio-economic problems in rural areas, particularly the highest and increasing level of unemployment, lower level of salaries as compared to urban areas, lack of proper level of medical care. The social infrastructure in rural areas is of special concern for proper development of children: the amount of schools is only 51% of need, cultural facilities amount to 60% of need, functional local hospitals – less than 10%(!) of need. Such unattractive conditions of life in rural areas push its young inhabitants to search for a better life in cities or abroad.
According to unofficial data reported by the former Prime Minister, about 5-6 million Ukrainians were working abroad before the war started, having to leave their children with relatives, guardians or in institutions. On a more positive note, Ukraine has radically changed its attitude towards disadvantaged children after the Orange Revolution of December 2004. The new governments since 2004 have tried to pay more significant attention to the much needed reforms in the disadvantaged children sector.
The governmental programs provided historical opportunities to make the issues of vulnerable children one of the top agenda items and finally ensure the well being of all Ukrainian children. Having ratified the UN convention on the Rights of the Child, Ukraine has assumed the commitment to carry out the necessary legal, administrative, educational measures to ensure the rights and interests of Ukrainian children are protected. However, assistance from the rest of the world is of crucial importance to fast-forward this work while ensuring its proper quality.
Our team of Ukrainian and American at-risk children experts continues to closely survey the situation in Ukraine today and provide historical analysis with emphasis on orphans and disadvantaged children. We will provide updates as more data becomes available. We invite all our readers to join our efforts to assist children in Ukraine through our individual child sponsorship program.