Ukrainian orphans visit east Alabama, need homes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ukrainian orphans visit east Alabama, need homes

There are millions of orphans across the world.  Each one needs a home, family, and help.  On Wednesday, nine of those deserving children visited East Alabama.

Eleven-year-old Karina does not know much English.  She is from the Ukraine, and she is an orphan.  When I asked what it means to have a family, all she could say was, "I don't know."

They are just normal kids playing a game of kickball, but for some of these children, their futures are bleak.

"If the kids stay in the orphanage system, within five years of graduation, 10% of those kids will have committed suicide.  More than 10% will be in prison.  Only 10% will make any kind of reasonable life.  The rest will be in drugs, alcohol, prostitution, or the mafia," said Reverend Tom Benz.

The nine children, ages 8 to 15, are all orphans from the Ukraine.  They have been in the United States for almost a month with Bridges of Faith and Reverend Benz.

The organization works to give the kids a Christian camp experience, but their main goal is to find them homes.

"The majority of these kids in these orphanages in Eastern Europe are social orphans.  They've been abandoned.  They've been abandoned as babies, toddlers, and middle aged children," said Benz.

Benz says 60% of girls in these orphanages become prostitutes.

When I asked Karina's 15-year-old brother Ruslan what it would be like for a family to adopt him, he said, "I don't know, but I hope."

Even with unknown futures, these children continue to laugh and play.

"We have so much, but they give everything they have.  We have so much, but they show us how much we need," said Benz.

If you would like to adopt one of the children visiting from Ukraine or if you would like to volunteer with or donate to Bridges of Faith, you can follow the link to their website: www.bridgesoffaith.com.  You can also contact Rev. Tom Benz at 334-221-0385.

Copyright 2012 WXTX. All rights reserved.

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