The TOUCH Project
TOUCH, Take One Ukranian Child’s Hand, is a sponsorship program for Ukrainian children. In 1999, Sabra Killen and Alice Rampton traveled to Uzhhorod, Ukraine to help distribute a shipment of humanitarian aid. This shipment was one of many projects between Uzhhorod and Corvallis since the inception of their sister city relationship in 1989-90. Killen and Rampton visited three orphanages and recognized that there were many children with special needs. Upon returning home, they envisioned a program that would help meet some of these specific needs. To support these children, the concept of a sponsorship program was developed.
Under The TOUCH Project, four specific programs, noted on the map to the right, provide services to children in Uzhhorod.
Click on any picture below to learn more about each respective program. Monthly updates of these programs are included in the monthly TOUCH Newsletters. You can subscribe by clicking on the button on this page and have these newsletters sent to your email.
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The New Family Program includes children and youth with at least one parent who is deceased, deprived of parental rights, in prison, or abandoned the family. The children are often cared for by a grandparent who lives on a small pension. The program provides a center where children may receive a hot meal, meet friends, study, take a shower, wash their clothes, and gain instruction in music, dance, art, sewing, languages, and computers.
The Rehabilitation Center for Children with Disabilities (Path of Life) serves individuals from 1 year of age to adulthood with various physical and/or mental disabilities. They usually live with their family and come to the center for schooling, physical therapy, socialization, and training. Over 20 children with disabilities have now been mainstreamed into the public schools. Before the center was created in 1999, children with disabilities stayed at home.
Public School #14 (PS#14, located in Uzhhorod, is the oldest operating Roma school in Europe. Some students are sponosred along with donations used to purchase books, supplies, playground equipment, musical instruments, and improve the school facilities. An anonymous donor in The TOUCH Project provides bread and milk each morning for the children during the school year.
Pavlov Farm Home provides opportunities for young women who often graduated from area orphanages or boarding schools. They are given a safe & nurturing environment on a farm setting in which to learn and develop talents and marketable skills. They learn how to manage money, apply for a job, grow crops and take care of animals, and gain friendships.