Ten times as many children are in institutional care in Ukraine as in England. In this disturbing investigation, film-maker Kate Blewett finds out what a lifetime in the care of the state really means for Ukraine’s forgotten children.
Shot over six months in an institute for disabled and abandoned children, the film takes us inside the lives of a handful of children who were abandoned by their parents – with a simple signature – to state care. The institute houses 126 children, of whom all but four still have living parents. The vast majority are what are called ‘social orphans’ in Ukraine, signed over to institutional care in a society that still clings to the Soviet-era ideal that the state knows best. But what Kate finds is that children of widely varying abilities are warehoused together, leading inevitably to institutionalisation, repetitive behaviour, self-stimulation and self-harm, even amongst those with very minor disabilities.
Anyone wanting to know how to help the situation in Ukraine’s Forgotten Children, please read this letter from Kate: Ukraine – Letter of Helping