Ukraine, April 2014
HealthRight’s halfway house in Kyiv, Ukraine, is a transitional residence for women and girls who are pregnant or have young children. Many of the residents are also HIV-infected, escaping violence in their homes, or recovering from substance addictions. The challenges of becoming a mother for the first time and caring for young children are strenuous in the best of circumstances, and the women who call the halfway house home must also contend with fear of what life will be like when they leave the program. Will I be safe from my ex-boyfriend? Can I stay away from my old drug-using friends? Can I find a job? If I find a job, who will care for my daughter when I’m at work?
HealthRight’s multidisciplinary team – comprised of psychologists, social workers, lawyers and medical providers – engages the residents in counseling and education, both one-on-one and together with their peers. Halfway house residents are offered a safe space to express their fears and work toward overcoming them and building a stable and productive life for themselves and their children.
Every resident of the halfway house expresses her concern that she does not possess the skills or education to find and keep a good job that will allow her to care for herself and her young family. In April, HealthRight arranged the first in a series of baking master classes with the head pastry chef of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kyiv. The women and their children learned baking techniques, gained confidence in their ability to work as a team, and met a competent professional whose passion for his work was an inspiration.