Yet that’s the likely “occupation” of 60% of the girls who “graduate” from Ukrainian orphanages.
60% of the girls will end up in prostitution. Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe. worldorphanprojectstatistics
Think about 10 little girls that you know. Name them. Get their pictures in your head. Consider how dear they are to you. Now imagine these precious girls orphaned because of poverty, alcoholism, imprisonment, or death, institutionalized, and left year after year. They watch younger children get adopted as they get older and older. As every year passes, the likelihood that they will ever find a family decreases. At 15 or 16 they “graduate” from the orphanage. At 15 or 16! I have a daughter who is 16. What would she do if she were without a family, without a job, without a home?
She may “survive” in the sex trade industry. Some of these girls move right into prostitution through local pimps. Others are promised jobs in Israel, Germany, and the United States as waitresses or maids, taken across borders, and then held in bondage for years working as sex slaves to pay off the debt their kidnapper supposedly incurred in the process of trafficking them.
The remaining four girls may choose to continue to go to school and live in government-run dormitories, if space is available, where the conditions are much worse than they were in the orphanage. Alone, without encouragement, without love, they spend their days. Perhaps they have delayed the inevitable for a few years. Or perhaps they will find a job selling berries, selling flowers, or selling vodka, rather than selling themselves. Regardless, unless there is intervention, they will remain afflicted, broken-hearted, captive to hopelessness.
And yet these girls are created by One who desires to set them in families, bind up their broken hearts, exchange beauty for ashes, and rejoice over them with singing. They are created by One whose purpose was to set the captives free! But, unless there is intervention, they are captive to a hopeless future.
With 100,000 orphans in Ukraine, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. “We can’t save them all.” “What difference can I really make?” “We don’t have the money.” “The impact of bringing an orphan into our life is too unpredictable.”
I understand these objections. They were mine. And yet, last spring, God tugged on our heart for the nation of Ukraine. As Bill and I stayed with a Ukrainian family, visited villages, spoke at churches, and spent time at one orphanage, we essentially crossed the Rubicon. As we toured this bleachy-clean facility, saw well-appointed classrooms, and peaked into a kitchen of Ukrainian women cooking potatoes for the children’s lunches, my heart kept crying, “These children need families.” We came home changed. So, when Katya’s need for a host family through FrontierHorizon was brought to our attention, we knew that this was for us. And now, nearly a year after our trip to Ukraine we are hoping to welcome her into our family
Many families are adopting children from Ukraine. Some are called to adopt older children; others are adopting children with Down’s Syndrome, or those who are sick. You can read some of their stories from my sidebar. Other families are hosting children for the summer, like we did, with no intent to adopt. Even getting into family life for four-eight weeks can have long-lasting impact upon a child giving them a vision for family and inspire them with hope. Others travel to Ukraine and serve in orphanages like TaniaMartin who is in the Rivne oblast. Many are making financial investments so that those who are called to adopt can do so. Others are working to help these children transition from life in the orphanage to life in the world.
Little girls don’t dream of growing up to be prostitutes, but without our help, 6 out of every 10 girls who graduates from an orphanage will…