In the last year, the war in Ukraine has affected the lives of millions of families. As we pass the one-year anniversary of the devastation, we wanted to share with you how your partnership with CBN’s Orphan’s Promise is continuing to offer lifesaving hope for children and their families even in the midst of the war.
Valentyna was 34 weeks pregnant when the war broke out in February 2022.
Valentyna grew up as an orphan in Ukraine and has worked hard to provide for herself her entire life. She dreamed of having a loving family of her own one day, and when she had her first child, Anna, she was hopeful that dream would become a reality. But instead, circumstances left her raising Anna on her own.
Later, she got married and had a second daughter named Yana. Again, Valentyna was hopeful that their family would stay together and that she could give her children the stable home she never had. Her husband struggled with an alcohol addiction, but Valentyna tried to support him as best she could.
A few years later, she found out she was pregnant and, at 24 weeks, discovered that her baby had a heart defect and would need immediate surgery after he was born.
At 34 weeks pregnant, the war in Ukraine broke out.
Living conditions became more difficult with each passing day. After the bombings began, electricity, gas, and mobile communications were soon unavailable. Families hid in basements and bomb shelters, trying to keep their kids safe. Valentyna’s doctors advised her to escape to unoccupied territory to give birth and try to get the surgery her baby needed in safer conditions.
Valentyna was forced to make the impossible choice to leave her two daughters and husband to save the life of her unborn baby. She made the journey to the capital city of Kiev and delivered her son safely by C-section. He was then rushed to a children’s hospital for a successful heart surgery
“Valentyna was forced to make the impossible choice to leave her two daughters and husband to save the life of her unborn baby.”
A Divine Connection
After recovery, Valentyna was scared and did not know where to go. She could not go back to her home because her city was still occupied, and her baby needed medical supervision and basic necessities like water, electricity, and heat. The winter in Ukraine is bitterly cold, with temperatures hovering between 15–22 degrees.
Valentyna became friends with a CBN’s Orphan’s Promise volunteer at the hospital and heard about our home for single mothers. Valentyna made her way to the home and found a safe place to stay while her son Dmytro grew stronger.
The home for single mothers is equipped with comprehensive help for women in need. They offer assistance with legal needs, humanitarian aid, and spiritual and psychological support. Valentyna was grateful for the safe, stable environment, but she was desperate to get back to her family.
Unfortunately, she could not return to them without going through the front lines and facing enemy troops. So, she waited and prayed every morning for her family’s safety and that she would be able to go home to them soon. She finally got the news that Ukrainian troops had liberated her town, and the Orphan’s Promise team helped her navigate the journey home.
“Valentyna made her way to the home and found a safe place to stay while her son Dmytro grew stronger.”
Finding a Future
When Valentyna arrived, she found her daughters had lived most of the time in the basement due to the bombing. They were struggling to survive, and the fear and despair had made her husband’s addiction resurface to the point where he was not able to care for the little girls. Fortunately, their grandmother lived nearby and helped them from time to time.
When Valentyna saw how poor the living conditions were—homes destroyed, no electricity or heat, no running water, and shelling within earshot every day—she escaped with her children and came back to the Orphan’s Promise centre, where the team was waiting to help them.
At the centre, Valentyna’s family is able to get help with material needs like clothes and food, as well as holistic care. The little girls are working with a psychologist to help them process the traumatic conditions they experienced, and Anna is back in school, catching up on what the war forced her to miss. It isn’t easy for Valentyna, but she is finding support from the staff and plans to start a new life here since she has no home to return to.
As the war continues, she prays for peace and for her family’s future. “I have never seen such kind people in my life of 32 years,” she shared about the team.
As we remember this past year and all that has happened, we are so thankful for Orphans’ Promise partners like you, who are making it possible for mothers like Valentyna to take care of their children even during a horrific war. Because of you, there is still hope on the front lines.
“Because of you, there is still hope on the front lines.”