Project Spotlight: Tikva Children’s Home in the FSU

The Fellowship  |  June 28, 2023

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(Photo: Tikva)

Fellowship-supported Tikva Children’s Home cares for hundreds of homeless, abandoned, and abused Jewish children in Ukraine and neighboring regions of the former Soviet Union. When war came to Ukraine, this home had to relocate to a safer area outside of the country.

Outside of the war zone, they are able to better provide loving care and a quality education that emphasizes the Jewish faith. The goal is to empower the children to grow into self-sufficient individuals who give back to the community.

These children make inspiring recoveries, learning to grow, dream, and have fun. For the first time in their lives, they discover love, friendship, and stability; they begin to connect with others and find their talents. Children who were once withdrawn begin to open up and explore all that life has to offer.

When our team visited the home, they were able to catch up with two graduates, Daniel and Margarita, who are now married and tell us how grateful they are for the love, care, and Jewish education they received at Fellowship-supported Tikva Children’s Home!

‘Tikva Is One Big Family’

Daniel and Margarita both went to Tikva Children’s Home in Odesa, Ukraine, and so they have known each other since high school—and two years ago they got engaged!

Daniel, now 23, came to live at Tikva, when he was only two years old, so his earliest memories are from the children’s home: “I actually don’t know any other life,” he explains. “My parents weren’t able to raise me. Tikva is the place where I grew up. Everything I have I owe to Tikva. I studied here from kindergarten until I graduated from school. I received my education at Tikva and thanks to them I was able to be admitted to university and to receive training in the field of IT.”

Margarita arrived at Tikva when she was 10 years old, and since Margarita was a little older, she remembers her first days were challenging. “At first it was hard for me; I missed my home. I missed my parents,” says Margarita. “They couldn’t raise me and made a difficult decision to send me to Tikva’s boarding school. They believed that Tikva could give me all the things that my parents couldn’t give me. My parents would visit at least once a month. In Tikva I met good people. They all wrapped me in love and helped me acclimate at the school.”

Now that they are married, Daniel and Margarita’s dream is that the war in Ukraine will end so that they can start a family—they are just waiting for an end to the chaos and violence. “We all left Odesa as a community and it helped us a lot,” adds Margarita. “Tikva is one big family. We want our children to study at the Tikva school and receive the same education and values that we received.”

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