LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The founder and caregivers at an orphanage in Ukraine fear the children they serve will suffer as attacks in the country continue.
Abundance International is a nonprofit that cares for 200 orphans who range in age from newborn to 4 years old.
For the past 10 years, the organization provides medicine, diapers, food and other care for the children. Operating in the city of Nikolai, they’ve remodeled rooms to create physical therapy spaces for kids with disabilities and intellectual development areas for children with downs syndrome.
“About a third of the kids dropped off at this orphanage are dropped off because the parent didn’t want a child with disabilities,” said Mark Davis, founder of Abundance International.
Davis lives in Las Vegas, but he is currently in Nikolai, Ukraine. He said while he had the opportunity to evacuate before the Russian attacks, he chose to stay because he didn’t want to leave behind his Abundance International team or the children he helps.
“When people look at war, these are the silent and unspoken voices,” Davis said. “I doubt that in the months when watching the buildup to war, they’ve heard of anyone talk about the orphans. They have no voice of their own. They’re not the attention of anybody. They slip through the cracks, and they die.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit the orphanage hard, even after they were struggling to operate through the pandemic. Local merchants who were donating food and essentials to the kids went out of business.
Davis believes that Russia has the “upper hand” in the war, and he said he’s afraid that the transitional government will forget about the current infrastructure that’s in place that provides resources to the orphanages in Ukraine.
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He shared his plea to Russian leaders: “Lord knows, I just beg and pray that you have put on your priorities list, getting these orphanages handled and taken care of and nurtured and fed.”
While Davis says he and his team are currently safe, he is worried about what’s to come in the next 24 hours and the following weeks. He’s asking anyone who is able to give, to donate to his orphanage atAbundanceInternational.org.