UCEF Orphan Fund Has Distributed $3 Million Since 2005

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Caption: Orphans and children whose parents are serving in the army take part in a summer art program in Lavriv, Lviv Oblast, sponsored by the Ginger Fund of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation.Photo by: Grygorii Prystai

UCEF Orphan Fund Has Distributed $3 Million since 2005


Since it was founded in 2005, the Ginger Fund of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation in the United States has donated more than $3 million to projects that help orphans, street kids, and other needy children in Ukraine. “Ginger,” the namesake of the fund, is an anonymous Roman Catholic donor.

The fund has helped dozens and dozens of organizations and hundreds and hundreds of children in its decade of existence. Projects include partial operating costs given to smaller orphanages run by Roman and Ukrainian Catholic organizations and outreach to street children and “social orphans.”

Mariana Kashchak, manager of projects and programs at the Ukraine-based Lviv Education Foundation, is coordinating a newer project supported by the fund. The project’s main goal is to encourage young and older people from parishes throughout Ukraine to help needy local children in various ways.

In 2015 this project, “Development of the Volunteer Movement at Parishes,” supported 25 mini-projects in the Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Volyn, Khmelnytsk, Transcarpathia, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Rivne regions.

Thanks to the Ginger Fund, the Ukrainian Catholic Parish of Sts. Borys and Hlib in Khmelnytsk Region, for example, was able to organize a summer camp for 35 orphans, refugees from eastern Ukraine, and children whose relatives have perished in the war. “The camp’s schedule was pretty busy,” recounted Kashchak. “There was daily Liturgy and catechism, Christian-patriotic songs, dances, games, soccer. One day the kids climbed to the top of Mount Makovytsia.”

Ascension Parish in Rivne Region organized craft classes for 79 children in local orphanages. They also started classes to teach the English language and other educational efforts.

The Kherson and Tavria Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate was able to teach 100 teenagers, including youth whose parents are serving in the army and also street children, about the history of their country, to organize leisure activities, and more.

Protection Parish in Vilcha, Kharkiv Region, organized 20 weeks of art therapy classes for the children of refugees, children from state-run orphanages, and other needy children.

“We thank UCEF’s Ginger Fund for supporting the program ‘Providing mentors for children of heroes of the ATO,” said Marianna Kaspryshyn-Bilyk, coordinator of another of the cutting-edge projects that the fund helps. “For this provides an opportunity to get youth involved in activities during this difficult time for Ukraine, to develop their vision of how to help in a proper way and how to be truly useful in today’s conditions.”

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