Viktor Pavlovitch Skripets, President

When I started in Friend’s House in 2003, I had 25 years of pedagogic    experience. Now I started to see the problems of orphan and destitute  children in another way. When we work with these children, we do everything  to help them remain in their own homes.

I have also been football coach, and this experience allows me to help the  children discover their best qualities and cultivate their characters. I can see them grow, show leadership talents, experience positive emotions and express mutual understanding. And then they start doing it in the real life.

Viktor is like father figure to the children. The children learn to do everyday things together with Viktor. He takes also care about the practical issues like: house, reparations, negotiations with authorities …

Nadja Mihailivna Litvin, Educationist

It is most important in my work that the children could stay in their own families.
My 45 years of work experience in institutions, orphanages, proved that no institution for children can substitute the parents.

I received a good education although my childhood was poor and hard after the war.

I am striving to help children from poor families to obtain education.

Katya, in Charge Social Programs in Bobrovitsa Municipality

I am one of those who have lived in that different reality. I know what hunger, cold and shame mean. Because I was afraid, I invented stories about how good my mother was. When I was asked, ”Why does she stink of liquor and why is she full of bruises?” I answered, ”She fell and she applied the alcohol to repel the mosquitos.”

I am married now and have two wonderful sons. I work in this happy team.

It is my dream that the children could live in their own families and never need to see that different kind of reality.

Svetlana Oshchadtchuk, in Charge of Social Programs in Kiev

My life changed when father died and mother started to drink. My sister, my brother and I were left on our own. We often ran away from home and lived in the street. When my mother died, I ended up in an ”institution” (orphanage) where I found no care, no warmth, no sympathy. I escaped and tried to find all this in other places. The result was that I became mother at a very young age…

Today, I have a wonderful husband and daughter, and a great job. A job that is always in my heart. I am helping children, families and young mothers. I am able to understand them, because I have been there myself.

Children should not be left alone with their problems. 

Tanya Verozub, Social Welfare Worker

I lived my childhood in the street, in the company of other street children. Such experiences as hunger, cold, hatred, scorn and shame are not mere words for me; I have lived through all of it. It was my world, and I knew of nothing else. As a child, I was not afraid of fairy-tale witches – I was afraid of the police who caught us in the basements to send us to ”boarding schools” (institutions, orphanages).

My childhood didn’t prepare me for adult life. My children, too, have experienced the other reality. Praise God, all this is over now. I have a new view of life. Our team is my family. My world has changed, and I want to help change the world for children in similar situations.

Instead of shame, hatred and indifference, they should be allowed to experience love, happiness and care.

Julia, Accountant

My childhood was gloomy. Father left us when I was two months and my brother was two years old. Mother had a job, but she earned very little, so our life was poor. I know what poverty is.

Now I have a job related to charity. It is a joy for me to be part of the process, to do my share happily when our team helps and visits poor families – the kind of environment where I grew up. Moreover, I love children enormously, and it is a double joy for me that my work contributes to helping children.

Lyidmila Schevchenko, lawyer

Legal matters takes lots of our time and efforts. Lyidmila keeps track on changes in Ukraine law.