First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska and the team of her Foundation visited a large foster family of Tetiana Yurychko and Serhiy Hashenko in Lviv region, who are raising ten children.
This is the third large foster family to receive a new home as part of the Foundation's "Room for Childhood" project.
The goal of the project is to build homes for those large foster families who lost them as a result of the full-scale invasion. Currently, there are more than 80 such families in the country.
Before the full-scale invasion, Tetiana and Serhiy lived with their children in a large house in Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia. Now their hometown is a few kilometers from the front line and under fire every day, and their house is uninhabitable. Windows are smashed, the ceiling has collapsed, the roof is destroyed, and the walls are riddled with shell fragments.
The President's wife noted that despite the difficulties with housing, last year the parents took in three more children: three-year-old Bohdanchyk, ten-year-old Tetiana and 11-year-old Viktoriia.
"Finding a family, warmth and love in the midst of war – every such story touches you to the core," Olena Zelenska said.
"When my Foundation was established, one of the first people we started helping were large foster families. Each of these families takes care of five to ten children deprived of parental care. The Foundation primarily supports those large foster families that were forced to evacuate because of the war. We helped them to set up their lives from scratch in a new place. Then we realized that one of the main requests of large foster families is a home. We created a project for a barrier-free energy-efficient home. We were looking for funding. We chose land plots with good infrastructure nearby. We controlled the entire construction process," the First Lady said.
Each new house within the "Room for Childhood" is built according to a special project, has an area of 285 square meters, an autonomous heating system and a shelter.
The First Lady and the Foundation's team donated books for children to the family.
According to the President's wife, the project is preparing 11 more houses, and the search for sponsors to build new housing for the rest of the large foster families left homeless is underway. For this, as well as for all its projects, the Foundation attracts foreign donors.
Olena Zelenska expressed her gratitude to everyone who is currently helping the Foundation: the Australian Minderoo Foundation, the government of the United Arab Emirates, the government of Estonia and the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV), the government of Romania and Romania's International Development Cooperation Agency (RoAid), the Global Empowerment Mission, CLT Rezult, and other project partners.
"Our global goal is for every child to have a family. So that in Ukraine, there would be no orphanhood as a phenomenon. And for this purpose, it is important that every foster family has a safe home," the First Lady is convinced.