While my charitable activities go back exactly 6 years as of today, there is a charity, which I care for very much, of which the activities goes back to 1973. Starting out in support of oppressed Christians in the former Soviet Union, their work didn’t end when in 1991 the former Soviet Union came to a fall. They supplied orphanages and homes for the elderly and disabled with their desperate needs, like clothing, medical supplies, bedding and food.
Their activities even expanded, as the fall of the former Soviet Union had brought economic crisis and instability causing many children to become vulnerable due the lack of parental care, extreme poverty, special educational needs, broken homes, unemployment and alcoholism. They also started helping street children and those from families in crisis, orphans and children living with disabilities.
While once carrying the names of “Aid to the Russian Church”, “Aid to Russian Christians” and “Aid to Russia & the Republics”(ARRC), since 2006 they are known as ChildAid. (As of more recently, to reflect the more regional aspect of their mission, they adopted the name “ChildAid to Eastern Europe”). While usually huge publicity is given to those living in poverty or with illness in Africa, Latin America and Asia, there is little to no publicity about the equally unacceptable situation millions of children in Eastern Europe are facing still today.
During my charitable actions on the Twitter social media platform, supporting other amazing charities, most notably being the ChildFund Alliance, UNICEF Uzbekistan and SOS Children’s Villages, I always felt something missing. While first thinking of further expanding my activities through UNICEF, there was a huge obstacle here, the clear pro-separatist attitude of the Ukrainian UNICEF account and the too business-orientated attitude of the regional UNICEF account of the areas of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. I did include the Moldovan UNICEF account among my supports, but no beyond that. Moldova and Uzbekistan, that was it at that time.
In 2016, I got a message in name of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children (of that time), as they were inspired by my writing on my blog and wanted to recognize me by adding me as one of their advocates on 1 of their websites. I rejected the offer (not realizing this would lead to a lasting friendship with one of the high-placed people at children’s rights at the Council of Europe). Beyond Instagram, I always have preferred to share who I am by writing, not by photos, which is what they wanted.
As I continued my activities, now also including charities such as the British Mission Without Borders and several Russian and Ukrainian charities, I finally realized what I was missing. The ChildFund Alliance members always offered me something which no other charity did, personal contact. I didn’t feel just an external supporter, I felt really part of the activities. Their thankfulness and appreciation was something which kept me going. And that’s when I actually made a lasting connection with ChildAid to Eastern Europe. While we already followed each other before on the Twitter social media platform, this was only short-lasting as they went inactive and I actually unfollowed them at the time, which was back in 2015.
I reconnected to ChildAid to Eastern Europe when they were retweeted by a friend of mine. And things went quick after that. I decided to add them to my blog as preferred support. And they reached out to me to write a guest blog post on their website. Unlike a former offer I had by the American charity, A Family For Every Orphan, which I messed up myself (and after which I have been scared to reach out to them again), I tried very hard to write something which fit the ChildAid to Eastern Europe charity. Eventually being delayed by being scared again, the one reaching out in name of ChildAid to Eastern Europe never pressured me and was very kind, leading eventually to the guest blog post you can read on their website.
That’s the thing about ChildAid to Eastern Europe I love most, the work of them and their partners is amazing, but it doesn’t stop there, they also understand those they talk to very well. They take the time and effort to make you feel comfortable, something which very little charities do. It doesn’t feel about the money with them, which they obviously do need to continue their activities, it’s clear that to them it’s all about people, like it should be.
Even during these hard times, my dearly loved ChildAid to Eastern Europe and their partners keep most activities in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Russia/Siberia ongoing to help the vulnerable, disadvantaged and disabled (with some restrictions). Which doesn’t mean they can’t use extra help…
Today, I’m very blessed to be their young ambassador, and I sincerely hope that everyone will someday understand the amazing work they do every day. They brightened my life and gave me the purpose I was searching for so long while using Twitter. And they are an even greater blessing to those they and their partners help in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Siberia/Russia.
If you want to learn more about ChildAid to Eastern Europe, you can visit their website at: https://www.childaidee.org.uk/