Throughout the years that Semya has been assisting various orphanages in Dnepropetrovsk, many of the children have grown into teenagers and then young adults ready to move on to independent lives.
In an effort to ease the transition from an institutionalized framework to the challenges of living on their own and integrating into society, Semya has developed a program designed to assist and provide social adaptation opportunities for older teenagers still living in the orphanage who will soon transition to an independent adult life.
This involves practical training on how the Ukrainian society works; how to open a bank account and manage money, including budgeting, saving and paying bills; cooking and shopping and the importance of having a balanced diet. Additionally, inter-personal skills, etiquette, and health and hygiene related topics are addressed.
Once they “graduate” from the orphanage at 18, they are expected to move out on their own and begin their new lives. Semya continues to offer mentoring and support for at-risk orphans by maintaining an “open door policy”. A regular stream of young visitors frequent Semya’s center, staying for weekends and holidays, and any time they feel the need for advice, friendship, legal help or just a meal or help with laundry.
Besides providing a place for these young people to feel at home, Semya works to continue to reinforce an awareness of societal expectations in regards to comportment and social interactions, and guide them in setting goals and plans for achieving successful careers and professions. Some of these young adults have been assisted with placement into reputable schools to further their education or vocational skills.