Universal Aid for Children, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   8 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, International

Location: 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. #126 Ft. Lauderdale FL 33304 USA

Mission: Universal Aid for Children's Ukrainian Program strives to provide direct humanitarian aid to nearly 2,000 orphaned and displaced children in the Odessa region of Ukraine, with the goal being to relieve the pain and suffering of these needy and deserving children. Our focus is direct aid (nutrition, medical/dental/psychological care, education, building repair and reconstruction, basic needs), sustained development, and post-orphanage education and support (via our Orphaned Teen Scholarship Program).

Write a Review

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

2,709 Views
Rating: 5 stars  

I became aware of Universal Aid for Children approximately 4 years ago. The work they do to help the children in orphanages in Ukraine is truly remarkable. It is a blessing to see the smiles on the children's faces when they receive gifts at Christmas, are able to attend Robin's Nest Camp or graduate from the scholarship program. UAC gives these orphaned children hope for a brighter future. I have sponsored one student who graduated from the scholarship program and am currently sponsoring another. It has been a very rewarding and gratifying experience to donate to UAC. I know that my donation will help impact a child's life. Keep up the good work UAC!

More Feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

Clara Pascal is a very kind person. She helped the Orphans Future Foundation to help orphan graduates in Ternopil region, Western Ukraine. Thanks.

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

2004-2005

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

join their team

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I have known Clara Pascal for years, and for almost 20 years she has been involved with UAC. I know she works tirelessly all year long to make every event, Holiday, graduation, and birthday special for these children. Not to mention the shear enormity of over seeing all of the orphanages living 1,000's of miles away! I admire her and what she has done in Ukraine. The world should have more people like Clara Pascal

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Have Not

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I first came in contact with Universal Aid for Children -Ukraine from a letter written by Clara Pascal in March 1997 requesting for "help" from a medical team specializing in AIDS / HIV. I became involved with this organization and assisted with the first HIV / AIDS conference for medical professionals held in that region. While visiting the orphanages we realized that the children had many needs and thankfully the HIV / AIDS epidemic had not hit the orphanages as hard as we had originally thought. The assessment proved that without further educating the teenage orphans they would be at high risk for STDs / unemployment / and possibly repeating the cycle of having children themselves that could become orphans. The teenagers have since had this wonderful opportunity to have "hope" for a better life by getting an education post high school and becoming employable! I am surprised and grateful for this program that has helped so many youngsters! It has been unpredictably successful! These kids have worked SO HARD! It is a pleasure to donate to this worthy cause! The world can only be changed-by helping one child at a time! My own son, Sasha was adopted from Ukraine when he was 4 1/2 years old. He is now 16 years old and boasts a very high IQ with a college bound future here in United States. His goal is to pursue a degree in engineering and he wants to return to the Ukraine someday and help the orphans who were not as fortunate as he was to get adopted! I am proud that he is knowledgeable about his roots and he has the gentle,kind heart to help others! Sasha enjoys going back to the Ukraine and looks forward to returning there someday to live! My prayers are that others will be inspired to help this organization that is dedicated to helping children that otherwise, would not have these opportunities! Donating to this organization is a very worthy cause! Neena Griffin RN

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced the results of this organization since March of 1997 and have found it to be a worthwhile cause!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

My love affair with Universal Aid for Children (UAC) started on a cold Christmas week several years ago. That week I had been wondering about a young orphaned teenager from Boarding School named Vera, who I had been helping for several years, because her birthday had just passed. Knowing that at the end of the school year she would graduate, I was concerned about her future as she prepared to leave the boarding school. It was during that week when one morning I received an unexpected call from a close friend in Odessa. This close friend had been my interpreter and translator since I had met Vera. She knew that I consider Vera part of my family and also how concerned I was about her. The reason she called me was to tell me about an organization, UAC, which was available to help Vera continue her education after she graduated. After she told me that UAC had a scholarship program for teenage orphans she told me that Ms. Irina Tishchenko, who was the Director of the Orphaned Teen Scholarship Program, was with her and was waiting to speak with me. When I said that I would talk with her I never expected my life to be changed in such a radical and positive way. This lady named Irina, as I would later come to call Ms. Tishchenko, told me the details of the program, that she knew Vera, had spoken to Vera about the program and that Vera wanted to continue her education with UAC. Irina also told me that she and Vera had spoken about me and that she had seen my picture in Vera’s album. Finally she asked if I wanted to sponsor Vera and I immediately said “Of course I do.” It was after I switched my support to the UAC Orphaned Teen Scholarship Program that I slowly and then quickly realized how wonderful Irina, the UAC Staff, the scholarship program, and UAC itself were. As time passed the amount of time, hard work, and dedication Irina and the rest of the staff devoted to the programs amazed me. I say programs because I quickly learned about the other programs UAC administered in Ukraine. Amazed is an understatement! It is hard to put into words the affect that I felt when I realized the magnitude and scope of its programs and work. The administration of the scholarship program alone requires so much planning, coordination, and reporting by Ms. Tishchenko to successfully accomplish all the tasks that are required monthly. A few of those tasks include meeting with the Directors of the schools (where they graduated and where they are studying), translating the reports submitted by all students, monitoring the hours the students are required to work at their home schools, taking students to doctors, providing other medical support such as medicine, helping with clothing, etc. On a personal level I never stopped marveling at how Ms. Tishchenko translated my letters to Vera and her letters to me in such a timely manner. Later I learned that Ms. Tishchenko was available to the students, the staffs of the schools, the UAC staff and the sponsors on a 7 by 24 hour basis. Just a phone call away all the way to Odessa! Then the best about Ms. Tishchenko, the UAC Staff and the programs was revealed to me on my two one week visits to Odessa. They met me at the airport and brought Vera. At the airport they presented me with a loaf of bread with a cup of salt on top that we all shared. After the airport they took me to my hotel. The major activities the rest of the week were visiting boarding schools to meet students and school administrators, seeing the conditions of every day living for the students, making an assessment of the effort required by the UAC to meet its goals, and other UAC staff members. I met children of all ages, some healthy and some very ill. All needing help and all needing love! Lots of Love! And this is the best part I spoke of earlier – Irina and the UAC staff sure know how to LOVE the children a WHOLE LOT! They talked to them, listened to them, played with them, and corrected them. They even hugged them, and yes they kissed them! Even some that others would not hug or kiss for fear of catching something the child had. I was one of those who feared at first but now I just LOVE THEM! How did I learn to love them? That is an easy answer. From Irina and the UAC staff! After our first meeting on the phone that first December morning, Irina and I began a formal relationship when she began to translate letters between Vera and me once I began to provide the scholarship support. As I saw Irina’s very special love as she translated the letters, as she worked all those hours to ensure my Vera and all the children’s needs were met, as she made herself available to everyone at all hours of the day and night, and as she dedicated herself to the program and the children our relationship changed, like a snow ball rolling down the mountain side, from formal to friendly, to romantic and finally into a deep, rich, and beautiful LOVE! We are now married and our hope and prayer is that we will continue to support and do volunteer work for UAC for many years to come. For me UAC really knows what it means to declare that no child is left behind. They do it daily! And Vera, well she was always a head strong, independent teenager with her own ideas. But with the guidance, support, and dedication she received from Irina, with help from the UAC staff, Vera successfully completed her academic studies. But her story pales when compared to the accomplishments of other orphans. Do you need a fun, enjoyable way to receive a real blessing? Take some time to find out about other UAC orphan success stories. There are three other UAC workers that I want to mention. Mr. Igor Shepyeta who organizes construction, remodeling and continuing improvements made to all the institutions helped by UAC. During both my trips he provided logistical support, gave me valuable information about some of the orphanages, and became my friend. Mr. Maxim Kondritsky who is a Scholarship Program Coordinator, is an assistant to Igor Shepyeta and staff driver for the UAC staff. He was always available to provide transportation for me when other was not available and is also now a good friend. And finally Mr. Aleksey Tishchenko, now is my stepson, who provides legal support to UAC and is the Godfather to the child of, Olga Meximova, an orphan who graduated from the UAC program, is now working, and raising a beautiful family. Aleksey helped me navigate around Odessa’s at critical times. In conclusion I want to give Clara Pascal a really BIG THANK YOU!!! Without her insight, concern, and dedication UAC Ukraine would not be there for whose lives have been changed. Yes the program has helped many children, orphanages, doctors, hospitals, and the UAC Staff and their families. But also countless others who have benefited by the work it does. After several years of working with UAC I was blessed to meet Clara, blessed because I saw a woman with endless unquestioning love for children in need and a desire to make a difference in their lives. Following are pictures of some of “Our Kids” and others that are part of UAC’s work..

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Children I have met or that have been help by other sponsors who grew up in orphanages and are now husbands, wives, and parents; successfully and contributing to society and improving their communities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would add an office in Washington, D.C., to take advantage of the political and financial resources that are available.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

There were there for me at every moment to answer questions, provide support, and make me feel at home in a new country.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Honest, hard working, dedicated, warm and friendly. They each have the ability to quickly make you feel you are home with your family.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change lives, families, and even a country.

Ways to make it better...

I could stay in Ukraine for an extended period of time working with the students and repairing orphanages, etc.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Good media exposure and support. The political climate in the country?

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am staying with this organization and will continue to find ways to help it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I've worked with and been involved with UAC for a number of years now. Although not a direct member of UAC, I'm part of the UAC family of scholarship sponsors. I've sponsored 6 students over the last 4 years and have the privledge of meeting them and getting to know them. Attending some of the monthly meetings of the scholarship students, I got to see how the UAC program works and how it is administered in Odessa, Ukraine. I was quite impressed with what I observed in both the areas of staffing, competency and commitment to the ideals of the program. Additionally, I have partnered with UAC on a couple of renovation projects in the Orphanages. We have partnered to build a Beauty Shop in Orphange # 34, where today the kids are getting haircuts and styled, but also where they are learning to cut hair. At this orphange we also upgraded and replaced an important set of external steps, which were metal and in serious deterioration. UAC did a wonderful job in costing the project, performing the work and seeing it through to completion. Before and after pics are available! I'm comfortable in recommending UAC as a valued partner in working for the benefit of the kids in the various orphanages in Odessa, Ukraine. They are 501(c) compliant and this has enabled some of our partners (my work and my church) to participate in matching funds programs, so we got more bang for the buck! We are currently brainstorming what our next partnership project with them might be.

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sponsoring scholarship students; partnering with them in various orphanage upgrade projects.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Aside from working with the kids in the orphanages, I have enjoyed meeting with and working with various members of the UAC staff, both in the USA and in Ukraine.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Program Directors in Odessa, Ukraine Program Directors and Support in USA Various groups visiting Odessa...most recently a group of Dentists who came and gave the kids dental care instructions.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Continue important renovations in the existing orphanages, assist in further upgrade educational and counseling programs for the kids in the orphanges, work more deeply with homeless kids and orphanage runaways.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

We have been sponsoring two teens from UAC's Ukrainian Teen Sponsorship Program for two years now. It is so enjoyable to correspond with these young adults on a monthly basis. My husband and I have not yet travelled to Odessa to meet our young friends but we were thrilled to be able to meet one of them this summer. Vadyk had the opportunity to come to America for three weeks this summer to visit a friend from the orphanage who was adopted 6 years ago. Last month, we flew Vadyk and his friend up to Chicago to stay with us for a long weekend. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to meet him and how proud we are of him. Such a lovely young man, so polite and so dedicated to his schooling. He is so committed to creating a better future for himself thanks to this amazing program. Always smiling, it is hard to believe all he has gone through, as have all the teens in this program. They all deserve this opportunity thanks to Clara and her excellent team who are so dedicated to helping all the orphans in their programs.

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

personally meeting one of our sponsored teens who had the opportunity to visit a friend here in the States for three weeks over the summer. He is such a responsible and delightful young man, studying hard at school and taking english lessons.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I know, first hand, what wonderful things are being done for these children. They speak so fondly of Clara Pascal and all she has done for them. A friend who sponsors two sisters went to Odessa to visit our teens and met one of the staff members. Fun

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I haven't personally met anyone in the organization but have communicated via e-mail with not only Clara Pascal but a couple of staff members. All are so friendly, helpful and so dedicated to all the children they serve. It warms my heart.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand to more orphanages (maybe a different region) and provide more children with a better future. These programs give them a future and hope that they will not have to put their own children into an orphanage due to the inability to care for them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I have worked with kids in Odessa, Ukraine for 12 years teaching arts and crafts and working with the Directors of each orphanage, finding out what their needs are and taking many pictures. I then write a report for UAC. Everyone loves Clara Pascal and UAC there as they have done so much for the health and welfare of the children. I have been blessed to work with such a great organization.I go once/yr, generally at Easter time to work with the children and share the beauty and joy of the Easter season with them. The staff that works there full time is very helpful in and taking us to the many places we need to go. The only negative thing I can say is that my time there goes too quickly.

More Feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with all of the children and helping make their life much better. To see some graduating from University after the life they started with is so wonderful!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fantastic. They were all very helpful. In fact, many have become friends over the years.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Rebuild some of the orphanages, or least repair all of the plumbing! Also, make sure more are able to go to trade school or University. So they can break the cycle they came from.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

Write a Review for This Nonprofit

Far exceeds expectations
Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Far below expectations
Rate this nonprofit:
1000 characters left