“Source of Life Charity Center” is a small private Christian orphanage located in the Kirovograd oblast of Ukraine. It is about a 4 hour car drive or 5 hour train ride south of Kiev. It was started 15 years ago by Sasha and Marina Grigorian. The center can hold up to about 35 kids total. What makes the center so special is that it is run like a family. There is a chore chart and most of the caregivers have been working there since its inception. All the workers say it is their calling to serve the children that come through their door. Some kids stay as short as a few months while their parents get back on track. Still others have been there for years.
What makes the center even more special is how Marina and Sasha never leave these kids. For the kids that are “true” orphans versus “social” orphans they save their government stipend for the kids. They teach the kids about having a bank account, saving their money and not spending it foolishly. When the teen is old enough Marina and Sasha help them buy an apartment close to the center. They then work with a local rehab center to overhaul the entire apartment. Once they are finished with remodeling they purchase new furniture and household goods. When it’s time the teen will then have a brand new apartment in their own name in which to live. While the kids transition to trade school Marina stays in frequent contact and communicates with the trade school directors to make sure they are doing well. Even former kids who fall on hard times often go to Marina for advice or help. Marina and Sasha never entirely walk out of the kids lives.