buildings

Uzhgorod

Ukraine

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OUR COMMUNITY

Uzhgorod is the administrative center of Zakarpattia with a population of 120,000 people.  The city was founded over a thousand years ago and is rich in culture and history.  It rests in the southwest corner of Ukraine where Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland all come together.  It is a university town with over 20,000 students making up 15% of the cities’ population.  Thousands of these students come from Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim parts of the world to attend its medical university.  Although over 75% of the population are ethnic Ukrainians, other large ethnic groups include Russian (10%), Hungarian (7%), Slovakian (2%) and Romani (1.5%).  Most of the Romani live within five squalid camps within the city and experience extreme discrimination.   A recent influx of internally displaced people from Eastern Ukraine as a result of the 2014 Russian invasion has created some challenges.  The Ukrainian government has chosen the region for its pilot program to eradicate the need for orphanages with programs to reunite children with family and promote adoptions and foster care.

 

 

a women with a child
OUR WORK

 

The team in Uzhgorod works in a variety of ways.

  • They have brought 14 local churches and 21 local organizations together to help the oppressed people of Uzhgorod.
  • They work with Romani churches to improve the living conditions within the camps by providing clean drinking water, improved school classrooms, access to vital medicine, food supplements for the elderly, improved care at the local polyclinic, garbage removal, etc.
  • They assist Romani young people to complete their secondary education and then pursue their life dreams with training and access to higher education.  They give them hope to escape from the confines of the squalid camps they are imprisoned within.
  • They build relationships with local and international university students and bring them closer to Christ.  They lead discipleship groups and prepare international students to become leaders back in their own countries when they return.
  • They lead summer camps for children at risk including orphans, refugees, and children from single-parent homes.  
  • They visit and love the many orphans around Uzhgorod and organize volunteers to ensure that abandoned babies are held every day.
  • They work with the government pilot program to eradicate the need for orphanages, and in the interim train local Christians to mentor these orphans.

 

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