January 16, 2024

Empowering dreams: a year of education, mentorship and career aspirations

75 children have tutors and 21 children have mentors through our Guardian Angel program. The children received a wonderful 2,326 hours of individual support from volunteers in 2023. Despite the challenges they face of growing up in institutional care, having lost homes in war or surviving abuse, children are:

  • Preparing for university exams
  • Dreaming of a future career
  • Going for an excursion outside of their orphanage
  • Finding a friend after being displaced
  • Visiting a mentor’s home after starting to live independently

"Ira, my mentor, helped me a lot after I had to leave my home in Kherson due to the war and move to Lviv. It was my first time being so far from my hometown. We visited many museums and cafes, and she promised that we'll go to the mountains in the summer."- Nadiya

At the start of the school year, 300 children received essentials like stationery, bags, and books. Though initiated to complement our tutors' efforts, our support has expanded to benefit many more children in our programs, and reached 29 villages in the Regions of Lviv, Ternopil and Zakarpattia.

Some of the 300 children show their new school supplies. In the Carpathian Mountains a village head where we had brought aid for displaced families asked us to help them again to start school.

Sometimes a few volunteer tutors work together to give a teenager the best chance of entering university. It’s wonderful that the IT company Intellias invited its employees to volunteer, so now a Ukrainian who is displaced to Portugal meets online with Maksym to teach programming. Maksym also has help with Math and English…

"My major dream is to go to university and study programming. I know that English is crucial for that. Your coordinator invited me to English classes at the Creative Hub with other teenagers, and I'm really happy I joined. Our teacher is awesome — we read, watch English movies, sing English songs, and learn a lot of grammar." - Maksym (16)

Online tutoring is also developing artistic talent in remote villages. Two girls, 14 and 15 years old, now have dreams of entering creative industries. Mykhailyna is being raised by her older sister and she would like to become a graphic designer. Valentyna would like to become an interior designer. She is one of seven children who struggled after their father passed away. With our help, the family returned two of the children from institutional care, and installed running water for the first time.

"It was like magic, Valentyna and I talked about her dream career, and then an architect contacted us through Facebook and volunteered to tutor! We try in every way to develop the children’s education." - Marta Heronovych, Program Manager

A younger pair of girls, Myroslava and Marta, meet the art tutor every Saturday for their favourite online activity:

“When I draw, I relax my heart and forget about worries. In our village, there aren't any clubs for children. Thanks to Care in Action, I can go online and learn from a teacher who not only teaches drawing but also how to sculpt and create different figurines.” – Myroslava (12)

Valentyna dreams of becoming an interior designer - and art from girls who are tutored online.

All the volunteer mentors and tutors get special training and advice, and safeguarding is important to us. In 2023, there were 10 workshops to train volunteers and two courses for new mentors. Helping children in difficult situations, like those in orphanages, can be a challenge, and we appreciate those who volunteer their time and make room in their lives to see a child develop and grow.

Our work relies on donations to continue – thank you to every donor who helps us to
reach another child in need.

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