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Ukrainian Christian charity centre at risk

09 October 2015

MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS

Catering: food is prepared at the Mission Without Borders Sarny Centre, in Ukraine

Catering: food is prepared at the Mission Without Borders Sarny Centre, in Ukraine

A CHARITY is struggling to maintain an educational centre in Ukraine, owing to the ongoing conflict with Russia, which has led to high inflation and spiralling costs.

The charity, the Sarny Centre, provides vocational training for teenagers, most of whom leave the school system in Ukraine at the age of 14. The centre was set up by the Christian charity Mission Without Borders (MWB) 15 years ago, and provides training for 170 students a year. The training is free, and all children leave with a diploma.

The UK manager of MWB, Carly Jones, said: “The children who attend Sarny live in deprivation: living conditions are very poor . . . and hunger is a constant feature in their lives.

“The vocations these young people learn at the Sarny Centre enable them to break the cycle of poverty and gain skilled employment. This, in turn, has a hugely positive impact on the well-being of the wider community.”

The centre also provided food and health care to older people in the community, MWB said, but was now “fighting” to survive, owing to soaring inflation levels in the country.

More than 8000 people have been killed since April 2014 during fighting between Ukrainian government troops and the Russian-backed separatists.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine appear to have eased slightly in recent weeks. Russian separatists announced this week that they would postpone disputed local elections in rebel-run areas.

A ceasefire was signed in February this year in Minsk, and both sides were reported this week to have been withdrawing tanks and weaponry from the front line.

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