Many mothers live with kids below the poverty line, in horrible conditions, without even basic necessities to exist. Often these difficult situations cannot be solved by a single donation of money, aid or words of support. Some moms are “graduates” of the Ukrainian orphanage system, or have themselves grown up in disadvantaged families – and do not know any good examples of how to take care of kids or understanding of the behaviour “mother-child”. They have never been hugged, loved, kissed or shown how to cook, care and maintain a household. Moreover, it is appeared that some mothers are illiterate, cannot even read, have no understanding on how to care about their children. The problem of such gender inequality is one of the greatest problems in developing countries and is wide spread over Ukraine in particular. The historical route of women in out-of-the-way villages and provinces is sad and pathetic: elder girls in multi-child families should look after the other children, have no opportunity to get even basic education or potential profession, than are given in marriage, get pregnant and go through the same vicious circle. They are abused in families and become homeless with no ability to survive. The same situation is with the numerous graduates of the orphanage system. We strongly believe that giving essentials and instruments to grow, enhancing the rights and the position of vulnerable women and their opportunities to participate strengthens the society as a whole, thus promoting attainment of the other development goals is crucial.
That is why the constant system of learning and support is crucial to overcome this problem. Women need the environment where they are taught and led by professionals, pediatricians, teachers, together with other moms in an atmosphere that is not judgmental or meant to hurt, in positive conditions of an anti-crisis center. We strongly believe that poor and hurt mothers are not bad mothers, and by timely provided support, we can directly influence their life and change destiny of child with no ending up in orphanages.
Marta’s Dream Shelter
The shelter “Marta’s Dream” (“Mriya Marty”) was created in Chernivtsi (the Charity Foundation “Future of Ukraine”), in March 2017, in the rented premises, to be focused on the protection of human rights of women in need and their children. With the main purpose to save mothers for kids and not to send kids to orphanages.
This shelter has already served as the support place for over 44 women with children: homeless, orphaned, graduates of orphanages and victims of abuse in their families. They are mothers, whose kids would have been taken away to an orphanage if not to this center. Women came to Marta’s Dream house form various corners of Ukraine – regions of Kyiv, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, etc. They have found the full-scaled help: social, educational, medical and humanitarian in this house.
Please, follow the link to the project overview:
Only 2 stories had sad ending – kids were taking away from women, who could not cope with the situation. Those kids have been already adopted within families.
Thirty-one moms and their children has successfully left the house and managed to start a new life: have established their own professions, attained jobs, and can independently pay for rent and provide good living conditions f or their families. They have fully overcome their crisis and today help other mothers in difficult and challenging situations. The house saved moms for their children!
It is worth to notice separately, that currently, the women, living in house of Marta’s Dream, are going through the hard way of support and crisis overcome together with idea of sustainability: they are cooking for other women with children in need, residents of state centers of help.
Please, follow the link to the project overview in media:
Successfully launched and operating project became the basement for the idea of creating the “City of Goodness”: after first year of existing of house of Marta’s Dream we consider it as a small prototype of “City of Goodness”. Since February 2018, we are the owners of building, and want to transfer moms with children to the safe (free of rent risks) environment. We are aiming to move by the end of November 2018 to this building.
City of Goodness Shelter
The “City of Goodness” – is a charity Ukraine-wide project, which is going to become a large network of facilities, offering social services and accommodation to the poorest families and ensuring the kids remain within the family and are raised in good conditions. The “City of Goodness” will fight for every mother and her child. It is also important to emphasize, that at least half of those kids are physically challenged with different degrees of disability due to various diseases or living conditions. Women, current and potential residents of the “City of Goodness”, are those who have no homes, those who grew up as orphans, those who are “graduates” of orphanages and those who have been abused in their homes will find comfort, safety and support in such a place. . “City of Goodness” is a place where resident papers and certificates, confessions, race and sexual identity matter nothing. They will not be judged on who they are. And of not less importance, they will not be asked where they are from – “City of Goodness” is opened for every mother form any part of Ukraine of even other countries.
The symbol of the “City of Goodness” is a child being together with mother!
“City of Goodness” initiative is a complex idea focused on support of vulnerable women with children, Every mother will receive an individually customized plan for her growth and development, with timeline of future education, attendance to a job and search for a profession. There will be a set term that will be determined for how long each mom will remain at the “City of Goodness” based on her specific goals and needs.
“City of Goodness” – is a focal point of support for kids and their moms, who will be able to reside there until they are ready to overcome their crisis and feel like a free and confident member of society.
The ultimate goal of the “City of Goodness” initiative – to provide women with means and skills to get a job, to ensure that they are ready and able to take care of their kids and themselves.
Taking into account all the above, the existence of such initiative is crucial for society, however it is very costly to pay rent for premises together with daily finance support of essentials and rehabilitation, as it was used to be before. Fortunately, on 7th of February CF “Future of Ukraine” has purchased a separate building in Chernivtsi city with a big territory, on which they will be able to construct new buildings (to accommodate and help to more families) and rehabilitation center for disabled children. It is planned that in autumn 2018 the mothers in need will move to the City of Goodness with repaired main building, including the constructed modern and ecologically safe sewage system.
Currently (May, 2018) we are gradually working on repair works and preparing basics for women with kids to move in by the end of November 2018. Following steps are implementing now:
(1) establishment of the study center, including provision of modern technical equipment safe for kids of different age (e.g. sensor interactive projector with finger touch);
(2) provision of equipment for crafts therapy, together with repair works in the dedicated premises;
(3) provision of safe and cheer environment for children, namely performance of repair works in playroom and family room;
(4) assurance of sustainability of the shelter and study center in particular within construction of autonomous ecology friendly sewage system;
(5) repair works of inner premises – kitchen, canteen, accommodation rooms, rehabilitation center;
(6) provision of convenient and technologically effective kitchen space: with ability to cook for ~ 50 inhabitants; with distinct zoning of kitchen space in three dimensions (cold & hot zones; meat, vegetables & baking zones; professional & common household zones) and consideration of technological and hygienic standards, as well as up-to-date requirements to safety kitchens and efficient cooking equipment.
After women are moved from rented premises, where they are accommodated now, to the new building, they are going to continue (or start to whom applicable) their self-development path. We provide the shelter with numerous facilities, namely kitchen for master-classes and “gastronomy for sale” project, crafts room for knowledge sharing and ability to sew for kids and themselves, etc. We also are waiting for (7) study program to be launched with another charity foundation, who are now on the validation process to provide 3-years financing for psychologists, crafts teachers, school teachers and other trainers.
Details regarding the selected sub-projects:
Project “Sustainable study center for vulnerable women and children in the City of Goodness”, which in particular focused on two areas of the “City of Goodness”, namely Essentials and Instruments, and at enhancement of supportive atmosphere in the shelter as a whole. Providing women with a modern, convenient and efficient study equipment, we directly show them other side of life, a positive and qualitative one, and give them a chance to make changes by their own hands.
Long term objective of the Project is following:
Specific objectives of the Project are:
The project working group was formed with high-profiled professionals, including subject matter experts in architecture and psychology. Therefore, the working group has enthusiastically managed with set tasks: (1) establishment of the study center, including provision of modern technical equipment safe for kids of different age (e.g. sensor interactive projector with finger touch); (2) provision of safe and cheer environment for children, namely performance of repair works in playroom and family room.
Project “Kitchen Unit for City of Goodness”, which in particular is focused on two goals of the “City of Goodness”, namely Essentials to live and Profession, and at enhancement of supportive atmosphere in the house as a whole.
The project working group was formed with high-profiled professionals, including following subject matter experts: architect of professional kitchen spaces and restaurant premises, head of kitchen in a large school with extensive experience of organization and launching of kitchen and cooking processes, and other highly qualified team members.
The working group has enthusiastically managed with set tasks: (1) permanent ability to cook for approximately 50 inhabitants of the house; (2) distinct zoning of kitchen space in three dimensions (cold & hot zones; meat, vegetables & baking zones; professional & common household zones); (3) designing with ability to any mother come and cook for her child; (4) consideration of technological and hygienic standards, as well as up-to-date requirements to safety kitchens and efficient cooking equipment; (5) realization of the Project within quite a limited space.
Main project goals are:
Key project activities include:
Project “Crafts therapy facilities for the “City of Goodness” shelter”, which in particular focused on the Instruments area of the “City of Goodness”, and at enhancement of the rehabilitation path as a whole.
The Crafts facilities, to be provided after funding of Feminist Review Trust, can assure several components of women rehabilitation, namely (1) ability to obtain knowledge in crafts; (2) ability to pass through psychological crafts therapy; (3) ability to sew clothes for themselves, their children and for sale in future; (4) ability to create something beautiful, to use their art thinking.
If look in more details onto psychological crafts therapy, we strongly believe that it is a very important part of social rehabilitation.
Women, whose lives were centered in survival and who were struggling from the family abuse. They are totally despaired and hardly ready to believe in their own mental resources. Therefore, giving them the opportunity to create something valuable by their own hands and efforts – is giving them the understanding that they just can change their destiny, their lives and future of their kids. Moreover, the budget plan includes repair works of the crafts premises, sewing and other machines, as well as art facilities to provide women and kids with materials and equipment to establish creative space and ensure ability to create art masterpieces.
Project “The autonomous ecological sewage system for the “City of Goodness” shelter”, which in particular is focused on Essentials area of the “City of Goodness” and is dedicated to ensure sustainability of the shelter in particular within construction of independent sewage system. Assurance of the primary basics needs in the most comfortable and safe environment allows women to focus on crisis overcome, and learning of how to care of children and themselves. By giving the opportunity to use safe and modern hygienic facilities, we show the other side of life, positive and qualitative one.
The successful implementation of the Project would result into in safe and modern facilities complex of a high quality level destined to ensure smooth and professional path of crisis overcome and self-development of vulnerable women with children.
Installation of the autonomous sewage system can ensure independence from the city’s service centers. The peculiarity of the Project is the environmental component – we do not just connect the sewage pipes of the central drainage system, and considering the high level of deterioration of the city sewage system, would just add our wastewater to the process of the regional ecology pollution. The installed sewage system allows to drain wastewater after filtration, with the cleaning rates fully in line with the established state and European standards, through the drainage system, and thus provides economical and lean use of natural resources. We believe that by showing an example of natural resources lean use and cultivating the ecological awareness of women, and especially children, we directly influence the future approach of families to building the quality of their lives.
The project working group was formed with high-profiled professionals, namely ecological issues expert, professional architects of sewage systems, and managers of building brigade. The working group has worked with enthusiasm on the established tasks, i.e. ensuring the sustainability of the shelter, in particular, in the framework of the construction of a modern autonomous sewage system, taking into account environmental norms, achieving the desired aesthetic level and using the latest technologies.
The ultimate goal of the Project: