Open Hearts and Homes for Children

Facts

LATVIA

Although they are making great strides in supporting families in crisis, the country of Latvia has a number of children residing in out of home care (foster care or orphanage settings). Children are removed from biological families due to parents' lack of parenting skills, limited resources, alcoholism and domestic violence.

In 2013, data showed there were 8,100 orphans in Latvia.
63% of them were living with guardians, 14% in foster families and 23% – in orphanages, according to Welfare Ministry.

UKRAINE

Some 82,000 children are said to live in orphanages in Ukraine. However, Ukrainian activists put the number closer to 200,000.
The 2014 U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) stated, "Children in orphanages and crisis centers continue to be particularly vulnerable to trafficking within Ukraine."

Condemned to a life of isolation and neglect, children with disabilities are transferred to adult psychiatric facilities or nursing homes when they are about 16 years old, where they will stay until they die. But those with little or no disabilities "graduate" from state-run institutions and find themselves ill-equipped to face life on their own.

BOTH COUNTRIES

• 10% of orphans will commit suicide by their 18th birthday.
• 60% of the girls will end up in prostitution.
• 70% of the boys will enter a life of crime.
• Only 20% of orphans will find work.

What our host families are saying

  • In the spring of 2016 we made a last minute decision to host a special needs little girl from Latvia. We fell in love with her and our lives will never be the same.

    Scott & Ellen F

  • Our choice to host forever changed our family. It taught us a lot about ourselves, the good and not so good. Our awareness concerning the world beyond us and the very real and desperate needs of others, specifically orphans, is something we can no longer ignore. Our experience also introduced us to our soon-to-be son. The Weisman family of five will soon be a family of six.

    Leslie W

  • Hosting changes lives: for the host child, for the host family, and for the extended family and friends. You never know when you might cross paths with a forever family for one of these kids. I don't know who received the biggest blessing, our host daughter or our family. Every time we host, I fall in love again. The kids we have hosted are some of the humblest and most appreciative kids I know. I hope they rub off on my biological kids. Lol! I have always bought a big family gift at Christmas to go along with the kids' individual gifts. But, when we are hosting, that is our family gift, our kids receive fewer individual gifts, and our kids are completely good with that. These experiences have helped my own kids realize the world doesn't revolve around them. Relationships are the most important of all things in this world. Relationship with God and relationship with each other. To ignore the fatherless is to ignore part of our purpose. How can I NOT get involved? Hosting is the single most important thing I have ever done outside caring for my own children. They actually become part of my own family, my children. Wherever they end up, I hope they always remember our time together. I will never forget any of them.

    Kathy Z

  • Extraordinarily rewarding for all of us. We were nervous and scared but that quickly went away the moment we saw her and seeing her blossom and grow and smile was absolutely worth it!!!

    Maryann P

  • Hosting changes the lives of these young children, they're exposed to being chosen and loved relentlessly, possibly for the first time in their lives. It changes the heart of the hosting family as well. Host parents and their children learn to love without abandon and love like Christ loves them. It's the gospel in action. Nothing stays the same, everything is changed for the better.

    Katie K

1001 Lackawanna Trail
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Phone: (570) 510-9797