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This week’s edition!

Orphans from war torn Ukraine coming to Maine

United Nations and international children’s rights groups have reported on the growing number of children living in state-run orphanages in Ukraine, due to the ongoing war with Russia and economic collapse. Now, families in Maine can directly impact some of these children by providing respite from war and poverty with a four-week Christmas visit to the US.

Host Ukraine is bringing more than 100 children from Ukrainian orphanages to family homes this holiday season. From December 16 to January 12, these kids will enjoy housing, food, and the love of a family for the holiday season. Maine resident Gina Stearman describes this program as “a reverse mission trip that your family and community can participate in.” The Stearman’s have opened their home to several Ukrainian orphans over the past three years, and share, “it’s been more of a blessing than we could have imagined seeing the transformation of these children during their time with us.”

Approximately 25 host families are still needed to avoid leaving any child behind. With a growing economic crisis and instability, orphanages are experiencing increases in the number of children abandoned to state care while budgets for food, medicine, clothing and other essentials continues to decline. The exact number of children in state care in Ukraine varies between government agencies, but it is estimated between 95,000 and 200,000 and is on the rise. Recent reports from UNICEF and Disability Rights International highlight the dangers children face in institutions. Hosting provides a way to change the life of one child, in a tangible way, and transforms them from a statistic to a person.

For more information on Host Ukraine or to obtain a hosting application, visit www.hostukraine.org or contact the representative listed above.

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