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Travel Dates Announced!!

Today we heard from Host Ukraine the travel dates have been decided, and times will be announced. We are so excited this is coming closer. I have been writing and re-writing my work schedule for the summer so we can maximize the time we have Alina. We will start playing musical bedrooms soon, so we can settle everyone into their new rooms and prepare a room for this sweet girl.

We have been working around the clock on fundraising. We are so thankful for the generous hearts that have donated to help us give this beautiful orphan an unforgettable summer. We are almost halfway to our $3,000.00 hosting fee, but we still have a way to go! We have reserved Alina’s availability to come for summer with our deposits, but if all her fee are not paid in time, she will be unable to travel. Tax deductible donations are an option, please message me for instructions.

I would like to share a little about the company we chose to host through.

Host Ukraine is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-run organization which works with Ukrainian partners to bring orphan children to the United States during their school holidays, to spend time with a loving American family. Orphan hosting is a way to show love and care to children who have often lost everything.

Wow, $3,000.00 just for the summer? Why? I said the same thing, here is why:

    • The USA volunteer team travels to Ukraine to screen and select host children from 20+ orphanages, which includes:
      • interviewing children who have expressed interest in being hosted
      • interviewing caregivers and orphanage directors to get references and expert input for children who are being interviewed
      • observing children to assess their ability to interact and engage, emotional potential to fit well into a family environment, for overall stability to handle the hosting experience
      • researching available information on children’s histories and background (sometimes this is readily obtainable, other times it isn’t)
    • Ukraine facilitators and translators accompany the USA team to bridge cultural and linguistic barriers
    • your child’s round-trip transportation by bus/train from their orphanage to Kiev Airport
    • your child’s round-trip international airfare to one of several destination cities (transportation beyond the primary arrival cities is the responsibility of the host family)
    • airfare for adult chaperones who travel with groups of children both in-country and international to ensure their safe arrival
    • your child’s visa interview trip from their orphanage to the US embassy in Kiev, prior to hosting travel
    • government fees for your child’s visa application and processing in both Ukraine and USA
    • medical exams to ensure children’s general wellness before traveling internationally
    • Our facilitator team in Ukraine is responsible for a wide variety of key aspects which includes, but is not limited to:
      • maintaining relationships with orphanage directors in more than 20 orphanages
      • accompanying the USA team in-country for child screening interviews
      • accompanying children from more than 20 orphanages to the embassy for visa interviews
      • preparing all the children’s Ukrainian government approval documents and travel papers
      • liaising with the Ukrainian governmental departments that have oversight of the hosting process.
    • marketing and awareness of hosting as a ministry, and available host children in particular
    • database management of children and host families
    • legal and administrative costs
    • medical insurance while your child is being hosted, to cover any emergencies while they are in your care
    • stipend for Ukraine chaperones who volunteer their holiday season (both summer and winter) to travel abroad and provide translation and oversight support to children and host families throughout the hosting season
    • Host Ukraine seeks to maintain quality relationships with the directors of all orphanages that allow us to host their children. We are not only committed to helping children during hosting seasons, but also to helping provide a higher quality of life while school is in session. This includes but is not limited to:
      • supplementing orphanage food budgets
      • paying for heat when the schools have no money
      • providing medical supplies when needed
      • helping with medical support when children are critically injured or ill and are in area hospitals (which often are ill-equipped and do not provide adequate medicine to orphan patients)
      • supplying basic hygiene items such as toilet paper and hand soap when orphanages have none
    • Providing support during times of need, goes a long way toward building positive and trusting relationships with orphanage directors, and helping to support needy orphan children who may not be suitable for the hosting experience.

When we were starting to research hosting I initially had this idea of how cruel it would be to bring an orphan to America to then return them to their hopeless life. I really researched this with an open mind, and Host Ukraine has an excellent statement on the issue:

Hosting allows children to see what life is like in a loving family, expanding their horizons and giving them an opportunity to dream of building a life that is very different than what they may have experienced so far.

Look at it this way: If you had the opportunity to take an all-expenses-paid holiday to Fiji or Bali or somewhere else amazing, would you turn it down simply because you’d have to return home to your boring job at the end of the vacation? What if there was also a strong chance that after the trip you might have a chance to go back and live there permanently? Would you turn down the opportunity to travel and explore another culture and expand your worldview? Of course not!

Statistics show that about 80% of children who come for hosting, are eventually adopted. Sometimes they are adopted by their host families, other times they are adopted by another family they meet during the hosting experience.

Hosting IS the right choice, and we must come together as a community to help improve the health and emotional well being of the next generation. With your help we can save ONE girl from the statistics and give her HOPE for a better future.

Please donate, literally every dollar counts. If you can’t donate, please share, talk about our story, spread the word so that everyone can be given the opportunity to help change the life of this sweet girl.