Our Children

Identifying 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 has worked tirelessly since 1994 to locate Jewish children in need from the southern regions of the former Soviet Union. Tikva reaches 25 regions throughout Ukraine, six regions in Belarus and 2 regions in Moldova.

Tikva deal with three different types of ‘Orphans’


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

Social Orphans

These children may have parents and / or living adult relatives, but they are neglegtful 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 responisbilities. A western style or family based foster care system does not exist in the Ukraine.

Extreme Poverty

These children have at least one parent or family member that would like to take care of the child, but simply cannot afford to give the child the basic necessaties 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.

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 State orphanage.

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).