Haven Bridge, a non-profit that I co-founded, partners with UAC in support of their Teen Scholarship Program for orphans in Ukraine. In the summer of 2018, I attended the program’s graduation ceremony and was thrilled to see some former graduates in attendance. One of those graduates (who I did not recognize at first) came up to me and just kept staring at me, waiting for a response. I had no idea who he was, so I just stared right back at him(!) Well, it turned out to be Yakov, one of the students we supported through the program over a decade ago, who I met when he was much younger, and who I wrote letters to for over four years. He was a grown man now, with a successful career and a beautiful girlfriend. We hugged and laughed and the next day we spent hours catching up on our lives while strolling around Odessa.
As I think back on Yakov and the many teen orphans UAC has helped to overcome the obstacles and to successfully transition from the orphanage to “life on the outside” – I am reminded that nothing else that I do is more significant or more personally rewarding.
With some many organizations promising to do good - the UAC is one that delivers on the promise. My family has been donating to the UAC for over two years and are very satisfied with the updates and the results. To hear from the recipients of the donation and how much it does for them is fantastic. But more than just money - it is the letters that one exchanges to offer hope and encouragement to them. The UAC facilitates this positive communication. I can not say enough good words about everyone involved in the UAC. Thank you for all you do.
UAC gave us opportunity to help an orphan girl that is studying in college to be a teacher.
The UAC's staff gave us great support in choosing what we could do. There are many different long term and short term projects that UAC does, but we wanted to make a difference in a life of a child that will be contributing to the future of Ukraine since we ourselves are no longer living in Ukraine. And UAC helped us to find this orphan girl who wants to be a teacher. All donations are going to very specific child. We love receiving letters from the girl that we are supporting and we love writing her back telling her about our experiences. We also know that UAC is not just giving her money but is providing a lot of support to her, like checking how is she doing in college and helping her with many aspects that parents would be taking care if she would not be an orphan. We really glad that such nonprofit exists and looking forward to continue contributing to the UAC for many years going forward.
Thank you, UAC!
My family has been donating to the UAC for over a year. The UAC has several programs that are geared towards helping Ukraine and its people. The UAC programs range from helping Refugee Relief, to Healthcare, to programs geared towards helping young adults without families to make it on their own. My family donates to the latter and currently sponsors two young adults in Ukraine. Irina and the UAC staff work tirelessly to help these young adults monetarily, spiritually and emotionally. They encourage the young adults that there is hope and a good life for them if they work hard.
My family has monthly emails with our two sponsored young adults, and it is heartwarming to hear how they are doing. To have them know that a family is helping them and caring to write them each month goes a long way to building their self-esteem and to give them hope for the future.
I cannot say enough good things about this program. The UAC also attends Ukrainian festivals in the US to spread the word about the need to support these worthy programs. If you are looking to support a worthy organization and make a difference in the lives of Ukrainians - this organization does it honestly and compassionately.
On a separate note, we adopted our daughter from Ukraine. We know first-hand that it is not possible for everyone to adopt an orphan, one can pray and support them as they turn into adults and that makes a big difference in their lives.
Review from Guidestar
No answer for "miami" office and Ft. Lauderdale office phone doesnt work. Adopted a child that we found out was kidnapped. Stay away from this place.
I used to work for UAC with Lori Kellogg and Aileen. I was young then and did not realize the impact that the organization had on the lives of so many children. I was just wondering how Lori was and the rest of the folks. My email is Anthony@copianart.com
The courage and determination of a people inspired me to give.
I have supported Universal Aid for Children Ukraine (http://www.uacukrainerelief.org/) for some years. In the 1970s I studied Ukraine agriculture at the University of Louisville and became interested in the country and the people, during the time of the Soviet Union. I have followed the history of the country over the years and in admiration of its people, I was overjoyed by its liberation from the Soviet grip and later by the Orange Revolution, and in more recent years by the Maidan demonstrations. This is a people who in spirit are so like my own people. So, when I discovered on the internet the desperate plight of orphanages in Ukraine, particularly in Odessa, I realized that I had to so something to help. The future of Ukraine is in its youth of today. Many strong, honorable adults are fighting corruption in their leadership even now and striving to take the country where it should be, but the children of today will have to lead tomorrow. So, these orphans who are being helped by UAC Ukraine will play an important part in that leadership. There are many success stories emanating from this organization, showing how truly effective it is in inspiring and redirecting these young people into successful, productive lives. I happily give every dollar I donate in the knowledge that there is no better place to put my help.
Review from #MyGivingStory
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!
Clara Pascal is a very kind person. She helped the Orphans Future Foundation to help orphan graduates in Ternopil region, Western Ukraine. Thanks.
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
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
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..
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.
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.
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.