Uncategorized Community/Education News

“Stependiat” Sponsorship of Higher Education for Orphanage Students in Ukraine

“Stependiat” sponsorship program is mounted by the charitable foundation “Pryyateli Ditey” in Kyiv under the direction of Maryna Krysa.

The goal of this project is to provide orphans graduating from an Internat (high school) the opportunity to receive a higher education from post-secondary institutions.

A Director of an orphanage tries to find placement for his students either in a local technical school or college with courses such as electricity, plumbing, masonry, culinary skills, hairdressing, massage, or transportation. He aims higher for his more promising students who are capable of tackling accounting, taxes, engineering, economics, medicine. National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy has created a “catch-up” year for such students since they’ve had a lesser quality education in an orphanage, after which they can then enter first year.

Through the Stependiat program a Director works with Maryna Krysa to facilitate the often traumatic move out into the world from the cocoon-like safety of an orphanage. Therefore, seminars are held by Pryyateli Ditey for groups of about 20 new students each summer, where they meet and learn survival skills from teachers and psychologists covering topics such as safety, medical care, finances, nutrition, etc. Arrangements are made for their housing.

Sponsors are needed for their living expenses. The cost is U.S. $600. per student per year. Most courses are 3 years, except for graduate or medical school. From this money the students receive monthly stipends for textbooks, school supplies, winter clothing, medical visits, and food. They must bring into the office the item they bought (eg. boots) and show the receipt. Guiding them to handle money wisely is a large part of their education.

Over the 20 years of this program, graduates have been successful in finding work in their field, in the government, and even in prestigious spots like the Bill Clinton Foundation. They are very grateful. From a rocky start in life, we can help these children to find success in adulthood.

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation is very honoured to support the Stependiat program and administer donations from Canadian donors.