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We are back - We are a Ukraine Orphanage from Slavyansk. Our 116+ children's home is destroyed in war, and we need your help AMA!

Jul 31st 2014 by Ukraine_Orphans • 26 Questions • 329 Points

We promised to be back within 48 hours with more details about ourselves.

Our 116 children need your help to get education and live properly - our orphanage was destroyed!

Our story Our lovely orphanage was completely destroyed during this conflict here in Slavyansk, Ukraine.

http://lifenews.ru/news/135933

http://24smi.org/news/16991-v-slavyanske-unichtozhen-detskij-dom-topolek.html

It was one of the worst-hit children's home during this conflict.

More than 116 children have become homeless overnight, and have problems now in getting education or even a shelter.

We have moved them away to another major city in Ukraine but from September we need our own place and to provide for their education.

We also saw first-hand:

  • so much political hatred, victims being innocent people, especially these children without any support

  • so many people, innocent people getting killed due to actions of Ukrainian army and separatists

  • corruption of deputies and politicians. They refused help and grabbed a part of our funds even when it comes to children's home. We cannot speak against them because they are like mafias.

We have now moved on to another city in Ukraine and seek funding to establish ourselves here - food, shelter and education for the kids.

We are completely hopeless and broken now. One of our friends from abroad suggested us to use Reddit and crowfunding site, Indigogo, to raise money. He is helping us with communicating here on Reddit.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-a-ukraine-orphanage/x/8291079

BTC: 1G3vRZ6KEMvCM59MADcaNmFhmrJ8pThMFF

You can also help us through Bitcoin, shout out to Bitcoin community!

Please ask us about situation in our country, about our views. And please support us by contributing to Indigogo project. Your small contribution can help change the life of 116 kids.

Proof: Previously, we received lots of warm messages and help, but also skepticism since we were somewhat unprepared without many photos with us. We promised to return within 48 hours - and have posted an album with whatever was asked from us, photos with children, photos holding Reddit sign, documents, support letter, budget etc.

http://imgur.com/a/uxLto#0

Additional: We received lots of requests for information on adopting orphans in Ukraine. This is a complex question, since it depends on a lot of factors (age/gender of child and your situation etc.) and hence we decided to talk individually.

Here is the form which you can fill and we'll get back to you.

Edit: Many people asked about how else can they support and contribute apart from monetary help on campaign and spreading info further. We have compiled list of most necessary items that we need. If you might have something of help, please PM us.

Edit 2:

We're progressing further on our campaign.

We have received lots of comments, messages, and queries (particularly about adopting children and help through clothes etc.) We are sitting whole night (it's 03:20 AM right now) and answering to each one of them.

We have unfortunately less time, and we request your help. Spread the word and please contribute in any way you can.

Q:

For those of you looking at the album of proof, the person with the blacked-out face is /u/Archiduke5, who has previously done a verified AMA about his experiences in Ukraine and is assisting with this AMA.

A:

Thanks


Q:

Why blacking out your face?

A:

Just didn't see the sense to it.

We sent completely unedited photos to mods, so that they can verify its /u/Archiduke5 in the center, with Reddit sign and children and staff manager around. And actually we asked the mods advice if that'd be ok to black out for the public.


Q:

I just think it is weird because a lot of people suspect you of running a scam, yet you hide who you are. You also claim to be a native English speaker but you never mentioned where you are from. A lot of proof seems to revolve around you doing an AMA about Ukraine, which is circular logic.

A:

Probably it might sound harsh but I absolutely do not see any reason whatsoever to reveal my identity to a random internet username.

Mods are here to verify the identity, they have seen my identity documents, and there's a level of confidentiality which is expected. With them, I also shared unedited photos etc., told them exactly what we are sharing with public, and asked for advice if to blacken face or not.

I am here, because I chose to help and present them to Reddit. We faced some skepticism previous time, but now people have seen photos, documents, our budget planning and it suffices.

And like I said, we're doing this campaign for not for 'me' or 'you', but certain young individuals who will greatly benefit from it.

Only handful people and trolls might be overtly skeptic and suspicious about everything, but that's their nature.


Q:

Do you accept Bitcoin or another Crypto Currency? I would like to donate but I don't have any hryvnia or dollars and I also don't like to give up a lot of personal information. You can receive donations instantly by just posting your donation address or holding up your addresses QR-code in a picture. Just like the protesters did last february. You'll get donations instantly when you post it on /r/bitcoin and /r/dogecoin. If you like it and dont know where to start, just ask in the subreddits.

Pros:

  • you're able to receive donations from all over the world in a few seconds.
  • Almost no thresholds for people to donate who are considering it.
  • no exchange costs, only about 5 or 0.5 $cents transfer costs for the spender.

Cons: You'll need to find a place to spend it or change it for your local currency, but just ask in the subs an people will help. localbitcoins.com is a place.

Here, have 2 smiles for the children from me /u/changetip

A:

Thank you...once again

Here is our BitCoin wallet address: 1G3vRZ6KEMvCM59MADcaNmFhmrJ8pThMFF

But we request everybody to use Indiegogo campaign, it's embarrassing but we are not very technical and additionally do not know much about BitCoin to Dollar conversion...

But thank you, that was very kind


Q:

/u/changetip 10 mBTC

A:

Thank you


Q:

Nice I see my changetip worked (Never used that before :P)

I posted it here on /r/Bitcoin and it exceeded the 1BTC ($590) already in 1.5 hours! :D I don't know if you have a USA bankaccount (because of the indiegogo in USD). In that case you can easily convert it on Coinbase and ad them to your Indiegogo.

A:

No, we do not have US bank account unfortunately. This advice about Bitcoin is very useful. Although we seek how can we transfer Bitcoin in our Changetip to here, in Ukraine.


Q:

https://localbitcoins.com/country/UA has a lot of information on local sellers who will be able to assist you in cashing out Bitcoins in Ukraine. They can either send you cash to PayPal or if you are in a city you can find a local seller to meet with in person (bottom of the page).

Once you do it once and understand the process it should be very easy for anyone with moderate technical ability, since you are posting a reddit AMA I think it should be doable.

Let me know if that sounds OK because I'd love to send you a few dollars in Bitcoin.

You can also use an exchange like http://bitstamp.net/ to sell the Bitcoin and withdraw to any bank account with an IBAN.

A:

Wow, thank you, that site has solved our problem of finding someone nearby. We were just searching more about Bitcoin and trying to understand it. It is indeed a very good currency without much fuss.

Please, we'd be glad if Bitcoin community helps us bring closer to our goal - that'd be the first time ever in history of campaigns in Eastern Europe.

Thank you once again :)


Q:

No problem guys, thank you for having an open mind and trying something new :). Localbitcoins is a bit of a process, I'm sure you'll understand it fine but if you have trouble cashing out at any point please send me a message on here (click my username above the comment and click send message) or an email to [email protected]. I will be glad to help you use either Localbitcoins or Bitstamp to cash out at a good rate, or if you have any other questions about Bitcoin.

In the meantime I'll also be sending a few dollars your way (to the Bitcoin address). Cheers!

A:

That'd be gracious!

We're impressed by Bitcoin and Bitcoin community. Hope it helps us further :)


Q:

You can view the Bitcoin donations here https://blockchain.info/address/1G3vRZ6KEMvCM59MADcaNmFhmrJ8pThMFF

Over 1 BTC so far...

A:

Thank you...


Q:

I hope this is able to be of use to you in rebuilding!

/u/changetip $80

A:

Thank you kind Sir :)


Q:

Yeah, please provide a phone-number of a well known institute or organisation, somebody from Ukraine could call and ask. And please also provide a link to the homepage of that organisation, that we can check if the number is correct.

A:

We are in Kharkiv.

We have gathered a lot of proofs for this reason which we have posted here and have really tried our best to prove here with photos and documents and support letter.

If you still insist, we can talk and arrange a meeting and see


Q:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eCBHwv_1Xo

Here it says that Топольок has 30 kids with special need and you say that "More than 116 children have become homeless overnight". Youtube video description is wrong?

A:

30 kids with special need

30 kids who have neurological diseases.

Moreover, later on we were handed over even more children from many other children's homes etc. And the number we tell is from June.


Q:

yeah, Kudos!

On my way to home n gotta become patrons for these lovely kids

A:

Thank you... :)


Q:

What is their opinion of an average Ukrainian (out of the ATO zone) about the civilians of Slavyansk? Are they treated with empathy or with suspicion?

A:

No. We are citizens of one country, and I have not seen any suspicion from people from other places. In truth, they were more caring of us.


Q:

What would happen if you don't reach your Indigogo goal?

A:

We have mentioned it on the album: If we do not reach our goal, then we will need to heavily cut down costs, for example training programs and excursions of the children.

We'll need to find some other way to fund for building then, but we do not have anything in hands right now about that.

They get very few excursions throughout the year, and with training programs we hope to provide them with good professional skills so that if somebody wants to become a sportsman, then they can get training for that and become so.


Q:

Right on. Good luck in your campaign! Pay day coming up, I'll see what I can put together to donate :)

A:

Thank you...


Q:

Sure. When an organization such as your's is not well known, it may partner with an organization that is better known so that it may receive donations through the better known organization, which will then pass the donations on to the lesser-known org.

As a hypothetical example, you contact the Ukrainian Red Cross and explain that you are trying to raise funds from abroad, but need a partner to receive the funds. The Red Cross (again, as a hypothetical example) will ask you for the proof it needs to demonstrate your charitable status. Then, donors give money to the Red Cross who will then give it to you.

A fiscal sponsorship places a trusted intermediary between you - an organization for whom it is difficult to clearly & obviously demonstrate your charitable status - and donors outside of Ukraine. Using the example from above, the Red Cross would serve as the guarantor that you are in fact a recognized nonprofit entity.

Again, I'm not talking about you soliciting grants from nonprofits. I am suggesting that you partner with a more recognized nonprofit, for your partner to receive donations on your behalf, then give you the money you raise.

Your partner may take a percentage of the money you raise - possibly 5-10%, depending on what your partner is charged in bank fees, but raising money in the way that you're currently doing forces donors to assume far more risk than normal.

A:

an organization for whom it is difficult to clearly & obviously demonstrate your charitable status - and donors outside of Ukraine.

We posted our documents here. One step ahead, posted FotoForensics report to prove they are not photoshopped, just in case somebody might think or troll. Also, awaiting any Ukrainian person to read and verify this, we messaged /r/ukraine as well.

As a hypothetical example, you contact the Ukrainian Red Cross and explain that you are trying to raise funds from abroad, but need a partner to receive the funds.

No, Red Cross, by its law, doesn't work that way. Like we mentioned, it is a great organization, but their responsibilities and field of work, along with the level of the work that they handle is completely different.

Still, we have two of our staff managers in Kiev right now who're dealing with some bureaucracy there and also seeking any support from such organizations...

We did tell people here that we can send them invoice, will keep them updated, and proof if anybody sends clothes etc. as well, but yes, that is a process for later ...


Q:

Thanks for doing this second AMA. It will really help me to get my employer to send some money, too.

Apart from money, is there anything else you need? Would you be happy for me and a Ukrainian colleague to visit you?

A:

Yes, we need clothes and amenities. Also, please spread the word as we are still very far away from our goal.

We would of course be very happy if you would come to us! You can PM us and share email, and we'll write you with contact.


Q:

Have you appealed to the members of the media in UK or USA? I imagine a small write up about the situation and the war would get you to your goal.

A:

Yes, we have been recently approached by some journalists from western countries and we would be glad if they write about us...


Q:

"Why don't you go play with your stupid ham radio and leave the adults to work this out? "

so when u cannot answer with reason u come down to personal bashing? that is something great mr throwaway

A:

People have the right to confirm they are donating to a legitimate charity. There have been many discrepancies and forgeries being made and things aren't adding up. When asked about those forgeries, they ignore or pretend they can't understand.

Where do we ignore or not pretend to understand? Can you point it out?


Q:

This is a scam. So many forgeries and when they are questioned about it, they suddenly can't understand english and go on a totally different topic. Every time they are questioned or need proof they immediately claim troll or lack of english. This is highly suspicious and then their are random redditors with the same poor english skills admonishing us for not donating.

A:

So many forgeries and when they are questioned about it, they suddenly can't understand english and go on a totally different topic

People asked us for proofs, and we have done our best.

Reddit for 17 hours, things check out completely. Sorry, but this time we are not feeding the trolls.


Q:

What do you and others where you live think about Vladimir Putin?

A:

He probably is a strong leader, and helped grow Russian economy, but he's old and losing his mind now.


Q:

Neighbors of mine adopted twin Ukrainian girls. It's highly unlikely that Ukraine would pass such legislation against Americans. There's simply no motivation to do that. Unfortunately, orphans are usually better off adopted, even if it means living in a faraway country, than living in an orphanage, no matter how good.

A:

orphans are usually better off adopted, even if it means living in a faraway country, than living in an orphanage, no matter how good.

We in reality agree with it... Two people who decide to give their complete love, attention and parental care, not to mention with their better financial and social standing is actually something very fortunate for a child.


Q:

This is fraud! No doubt! BetterUkraine Foundation is unknown. There is no home page, email contacts and even names. A photo of a sign is grabbed from an internet news video! A person's face is mask on several photos! Why? You can't see the kids on the photos actually are the orphans from Slavyansk! Why is the reference/support letter only partially photographed? Why not the whole letter? Documents are in foreign language - I can't read it! All this sounds not serious! If you want to help orphans in Ukraine, google "sponsor an orphan in Ukraine" instead.

A:

After wondering for a while, I decided to answer:

Do you belong to a larger organization for Ukrainian orphans? I imagine that this war will unfortunately produce many more orphans that will require assistance. Also, thank you very much for providing additional proof. I hope you reach your financial goals much faster now.

This war has undoubtedly produced many orphans who require assistance. Just day before yesterday, for instance, 60 orphans came from Donetsk from children's home.

Other than that - as I see there are so many people on Reddit who care about Ukraine and situation here, I hope that there could be a way to connect them with those who need help here - often times they don't need much more than few clothes, school products etc.

I chose the name Better Ukraine Foundation since Indiegogo asked for name of parent organization or something - please, there is absolutely no discrepancy about this.

You can't see the kids on the photos actually are the orphans from Slavyansk!

The only way to see if somebody is from Slavyansk is to see their documents probably. We were not asked to photograph their internal passports and documents of these orphans as well... That is actually forbidden by law to do that.

And honestly, we looked through the examples and genuine photos, hi Reddit, should suffice we though.

Why is the reference/support letter only partially photographed? Why not the whole letter? To put their as an image. Otherwise we can show you the PDF file as well.

Documents are in foreign language - I can't read it!

We did asked any Ukrainian to read what is written, and also messaged the /r/ukraine mods.

We posted over 22 images with photos, documents etc, with all the relevant details and we believe they should have sufficed anyone now.


Q:

Sorry, but the posted photos, documents etc. shows really nothing!

The whole reference/support letter in a PDF-file linked here would be fine. I just wonder why the Youtube links in the letter don’t works?

And some relevant details are missing here: What address has "Better Ukraine Foundation"? What is "Better Ukraine Foundation" official email address? Who run this project "Better Ukraine Foundation"? Who is the President of the "Better Ukraine Foundation"? Who is the treasurer anyway? What is yours real name and background Ukraine_Orphans?

Sorry, but "Better Ukraine Foundation" sounds not serious.

A:

Many people asked us for our contact information here, and we mentioned them with the name Better Ukraine foundation. It's just a name, rather than "Pomoch dlya Topol'ok Ditechniy Budnik". We even told that you'll receive invoices etc if you send the clothes or other amenities, we'll send the photos etc. as well. And after we were asked to bring proofs, we didn't just run away but promised to return within 48 hours and show something concrete. I just don't understand...

I just went to your comment history, Reddit for 1 hour and only posts are on this AMA. Is this some way to downplay us?


Q:

Yes, I'm new. I just wonder why information about who is behind the "Better Ukraine Foundation" must be so secret! If you really want to help orphans in Ukraine, why all the secrecy about yours name?

Again: What address has "Better Ukraine Foundation"?

What is "Better Ukraine Foundation" official email address?

Who run this project "Better Ukraine Foundation"?

Who is the President of the "Better Ukraine Foundation"?

Who is the treasurer anyway?

What is yours real name and background Ukraine_Orphans?

A:

Even though it sounds like borderline trolling, just to answer:

No, there is nothing called 'Better Ukraine Foundation' - it's just a name we chose for this campaign. We decided it'd be better for international readers, rather than Комунальний Заклад Донецький Обласний Центр Соціально-Психологічної Реабілітації Дітей "Топольок", the real official name.

All other relevant proofs have been provided here. Only difference between proof submitted to the public and to the mods on AMA is that the photos to the mods were not blacked out, which they could verify it is /u/Archiduke5 - they have had my identification documents already.

As for who is Ukraine_Orphans, it is the staff manager(s) of this Комунальний Заклад Донецький Обласний Центр Соціально-Психологічної Реабілітації Дітей "Топольок" (if you prefer that way), and I, /u/Archiduke5, am just sitting and communicating for them in English language, speaking what they're asking me to say, helping them negotiating with some small foreign business and organizations here.