May 20, 2024
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LifeChanger FSU Helps Heal the Ukraine’s Forgotten Jewish Children

(Courtesy of LifeChanger FSU) Jerusalem—This month, LifeChanger FSU, a proactive human services organization in the Ukraine, marks two years of dramatically changing the lives of the most vulnerable and neglected Jewish children throughout the region. In just two years, the organization has helped more than 200 Jewish children living in the most economically repressed areas of the Ukraine integrate into healthy and empowering environments, guiding them towards sustained recovery and independence.

Employing a holistic approach to the rehabilitation process, LifeChanger FSU provides children enrolled in the program and their families with everything from basic necessities like food, clothing and personal hygiene products, to a wide variety of individualized needs, including professional guidance for parents or guardians and therapeutic services; medical, paramedical and dental treatment; and educational support for the whole family.

“There are hundreds of Jewish children across the Ukraine grappling with extreme poverty, neglect, abuse and overlooked physical and emotional disabilities, and we see it as our mission to bring them out of the shadows and into the light to receive the care, support and warmth they need to not just survive but thrive,” said Irina Chernobryvetz, director of LifeChanger FSU. “As a forgotten population, it is crucial that we restore their dignity by addressing their individual needs and raise them up by helping each child chart the course toward a brighter future and personal redemption.”

LifeChanger FSU has gained significant momentum over the last two years, and its area of impact continues to expand rapidly, including 12 major cities across the Ukraine in which project coordinators work with local partners and international professionals to provide frameworks for housing, education and healthcare. This dedicated team creates dynamic and comprehensive solutions to address each child’s unique physical, mental and social needs, and works to distance them from negative influences and the lure of drug addiction, alcoholism and crime.

The organization also encourages and facilitates social interaction within peer groups, breaking the cycle of solitude and isolation by placing rehabilitated children in Jewish recreational and experiential education programs and cultivating their senses of charity and responsibility by providing opportunities for volunteerism, activism and youth leadership training.

A prime example of LifeChanger FSU’s impact is their success with Violeta, a young girl from the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, who was plagued by poverty and haunted by abuse for years, causing her to retreat into herself, suffering in silence without counseling, treatment or support. When LifeChanger FSU was brought in to help, they outlined a detailed rehabilitation plan that included financial and psychological support for Violeta’s entire family. Along the way, they also discovered Violeta’s untapped musical talent and arranged for her to begin taking piano lessons, a powerful therapeutic tool that allows her to express herself artistically and conquer her trauma.

“When I found out about the abuse, I became overprotective of Violeta, caging her in just when she needed to learn how to spread her wings and become independent. But LifeChanger FSU saw exactly what she needed and did everything possible to help her heal and move forward,” said Ksenia, Violeta’s mother, who proudly attends every one of her daughter’s piano recitals. “They eased my worries, mended our broken family and drew out Violeta’s buried gifts. LifeChanger FSU saved her life and allowed her to shine, and I will never be able to thank them enough.”

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