Ways to Help - Tikva

Ways to Help

Our Children

Identifiying and Supporting Children in Need
Identifiying and Supporting Children in Need

Our children come to Tikva as young as newborns and stay until they are at least 16 years of age, emotionally and academically ready to begin life in Israel, or continue their studies at Tikva’s University Program in Odessa. These bright and inquisitive children flourish in our care, despite the fact that most arrive with medical, psychological, developmental and social difficulties due to their traumatic early experiences. Many of our children also have siblings and cousins who are reunited in our homes. Tikva strives to ensure that each child’s needs are met so that he or she can develop into a fully-functioning, self-sufficient adult who is then able to become a contributing member of society.

Tikva employs a full time staff member who is in charge of locating orphans and other children in need. “Need” is defined by the same definition the Ukrainian government uses for admittance into the State orphanage, which is a child who is either from an abusive home, a home where there is an imminent danger for the child (e.g., drugs or alcohol), no home (e.g., living on the streets) or children with no parents.

Intake Process:
After the child arrives at the home, a doctor and a psychologist evaluate the child and a nurse and caretaker help the child adjust to the home and school. After admission, most children stay in the home until they are at least 16 years old (end of the 10th grade).

Children typically arrive at Tikva for one of three reasons:

1. Orphans

These children do not have parents. They are usually found in state orphanages, separated from their brothers and sisters.

2. Social Orphans

These children may have parents and/or a living adult relative, but they are neglectful and abusive caretakers. The children often come to Tikva after running away from home or being abandoned by a caretaker. Tikva serves in effect as a permanent foster home for these children, assuming all custodial responsibilities. A western style or family based foster care system does not exist in Ukraine.

3. Extreme Poverty

These children have at least one parent, or a family member that would like to take care of the child, but simply cannot afford to give the child the basic necessities needed for survival. These children often stay in contact with their family even after arriving at Tikva, and continue to see them on weekends and holidays.

Get Involved

Tikva offers a range of opportunities for partnership:


Tikva organizes two to three missions annually. There is nothing more powerful than to spend a few days with Tikva’s children. To hold a baby in your arms, to engage in a game of building blocks in the Infant-Toddler Home, to watch children learning, to sit and eat meals together, to clap at theatrical performances organized by the children themselves, to play a game of catch, to hug them and to hear their laughter. Not only will a mission to Odessa be an interesting and satisfying experience, it will literally change your life.

Annual Young Leadership Retreat & Fundraising Trip to Odessa

Annual Young Leadership Retreat & Fundraising Trip to Odessa

We actively recruit a select group of 20-25 participants from North America and Western Europe to travel to Odessa each spring to volunteer time with our children (who range in age from newborns to older teenagers). Participants of this mission learn about our programs first-hand, and spread the word about the important work being done to aid Jewish children, elderly, and families in Ukraine and the need for further support.To ensure the program's viability, and to make sure the cost and effort of organizing this trip are worthwhile, we must have commitments from at least 20 individuals to raise at least $5,000 each (for a total of $100,000) in order to proceed with the trip, the cost of which is wholly underwritten by a corporate sponsor. Please tell friends, colleagues, former classmates and family members who may be interested in Tikva about this mission, as we encourage participation in groups. General information about Tikva is available at our website: www.tikvaodessa.org

For specific information about upcoming Young Leadership Events, Missions, other initiatives and ways to be involved, please contact lorid@tikvaodessa.org

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program

For only $1,000, you can help one of these underprivileged Jewish children celebrate his or her Bar/Bat Mitzvah. With your support, these once abandoned children can have the opportunity to mark their entrance into Jewish adulthood with pride and dignity, embracing the special mitzvahs of the Jewish people and building their futures on its message of love and hope.

In-Kind Services & Products

When donating gifts to Tikva’s children you are giving them an opportunity to experience what every child deserves: a childhood that is not constrained by destitution. Since most of our children have grown up in abject poverty, we ask that all donated goods be unused, as it is Tikva’s enduring mission to give each child their own possessions in order to inspire in them a sense of individuality and self-worth.

Click here to see Tikva's wish list

Tikva is pleased to be able to serve an increasing number of children each year. There are, however, still hundreds more children living on the streets, trapped in abusive family situations or living in dilapidated and cruel state orphanages who still have not been found due to lack of available funds. Tikva continually seeks partners to sustain its work and help save the lives of other abandoned and abused children, not yet connected with Tikva.

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