Our knowledge-base will answer many of your frequently asked questions.
OHHC consists of local volunteers who have been touched by the plight of children growing up in institutions in Eastern Europe. We volunteer our time so that a group of school-aged orphans may have the opportunity to meet and spend time with loving families, who can change their lives. OHHC provides institutionalized children with a vacation experience to share the love and life of a family, enjoy recreational and cultural activities, and make long term caring relationships.
270 ViewsWhat kinds of volunteers are needed?
Volunteers are needed in many areas. These include:
- Host Families: Volunteers who will sponsor and host a child/children in their home for the three-four week visit.
- Publicists: Volunteers in the community to get the word out; putting out flyers, speaking to community groups, soliciting support from local media.
- Fundraisers: Volunteers to solicit donations or coordinate a fundraiser to defray the costs of child sponsorship, or to meet orphanage needs.
- Medical Support: Professionals willing to provide free medical, dental and vision services for the children.
- Translators: People who understand Russian, Ukrainian and Latvian languages and cultures to provide language assistance for host families.
- Special Projects: Volunteers to assist in meet special requests or specific needs that OHHC becomes aware of (example: collection drive for socks, hats, mittens, school supplies, toothbrushes).
227 ViewsWhat is the role of OHHC?
OHHC volunteers coordinate the children's visits; works with the regional government and orphanage directors in their home countries to obtain permission for the children to visit, obtain necessary background and medical information and arrange for passports, visas and travel for the children and their escorts. Here in the U.S., OHHC works with local volunteers to find host families, provide host family training and support materials, publicize the program and create a network of local resources for host families. OHHC also tries to secure donations to assist with identified orphanage needs.
The children that come on the program are selected based on recommendations by orphanage directors and facilitators who work with orphanage staff. In addition, our OHHC team travels to Ukraine and Latvia twice a year to build and strengthen our in-country relationships, as well as to personally meet with each child. On occasion a particular child may be recommended to the program without a personal interview, but that is the exception. The children chosen for the program are believed to have the ability to benefit from the vacation experience and to successfully adapt to family life in the United States. A brief description of the child's personal characteristics and medical history is requested from the orphanage staff, yet as a host program, the information is often limited.