Roughly one hour outside Zhitomir, in rural Ukraine, lay a small grouping of rather ordinary buildings. To most, this area would not warrant much thought… But if you were to take a second glance… If you were to stop…
You would soon discover there is much more to this locale than meets the eye. This particular collection of structures make up Romaniv Orphanage, the place approximately 80 boys and young men with severe disabilities call home.While the history behind the orphanage is uncertain, the original purpose remains painfully clear. From its rurally isolated location to its profound list of unmet needs, the boys and young men of Romaniv have each been individually branded “unacceptable” by the scorching poker of Ukrainian society. Many were abandoned at the steps, left to fend for themselves. Many had never seen their own faces in a mirror. Many had never felt true Godly love.
In recent years however, glimmers of hope have begun to surface. Romaniv came under new direction and the new director undertook multiple initiatives in an effort to extend feelings of dignity, compassion and opportunity to the boys. During that time, Mission to Ukraine (MTU) stumbled upon Romaniv and offered their loving hand of support. The MTU team began visiting the orphanage on a regular weekly basis in hopes of meeting tangible, spiritual and relational needs.
In an effort to continue building upon this positive atmosphere, MTU reached out to Hands of Hope requesting that they also partner with Romaniv. In March 2012, Lois Teeter and Suzy Roth, on behalf of Hands of Hope, embarked on an exploratory journey to the orphanage. It soon became evident that this partnership was undoubtedly a part of God’s plan for both organizations. The decision was made that Hands of Hope would begin supporting Romaniv beginning with child sponsorships. Hands of Hope is excited to watch God work through this partnership to bring hope and love to the disabled children at Romaniv.