Kidsave Wins UN Award for Mentoring At-Risk Ukrainian Teens

Kidsave is pleased to announce that our Mentoring program in Ukraine has won the UN Sustainability Award!

More than 100,000 Ukrainian children living in orphanages and government institutions are growing up without parents. They often miss out on learning the social and life skills they need to successfully enter the world of work. Kidsave’s Corporate Mentoring program gives Ukraine’s at-risk institutionalized and emancipated youth valuable mentoring opportunities from successful adults who guide, teach, coach, and help at-risk youth enter the workforce and reach their full potential — finding their way into responsible adulthood with good expectations.

Children living in orphanages and government institutions often miss out on learning the social and life skills they need to successfully enter the world of work. Every year about 10,000 of these youth leave the child welfare system and must fend for themselves. The Ukrainian Government sought help from Kidsave. We started two projects – a pilot program in 2 cities to reunite kids growing up alone with their families and the Ukrainian Mentoring Association for Children and Youth (UMA) launch. Since Kidsave created UMA in 2017, the organization has recruited and trained mentors to help 750 at-risk youth significantly improve their emotional, financial, and legal literacy.

By giving these teens connections and opportunities, mentors have helped them consider and explore interests, gain confidence and self-sufficiency, find internships and jobs, and enjoy the individualized guidance of a caring, successful adult.

Through a Kidsave-funded UMA program called Pathways to Success, a small team of dedicated social workers recruits and trains mentors and matches them with the youth. Pathways to Success recently won a United Nations Sustainability award – a recognition that it is one of the world’s best, most innovative practices to create, promote and implement United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. One of the Pathways to Success’s star mentors is also the press secretary to the Ukrainian president. She is featured in this video presented recently at the European Mentoring Summit: Kidsave’s Mentoring Program in Ukraine.

This Kidsave-funded program also has a wonderful ambassador — TV personality Oleksandra Kucherenko. Hear her describe the need this program meets in this video: Ms. Kucherenko.

Kidsave hopes to serve many more teens in Ukraine through the UMA by helping them prepare for the world of work.