Blogger drugoeus writes: Mariupol. The second largest port in Ukraine. Ninth city in terms of population. The dirtiest industrial center in the country. Due to its geographical location and favorable climate (basement heating pipeline) in the late 90's this town gave shelter to large horde of homeless kids from all over the CIS.
Organizing an orphanage for homeless children in Mariupol in the early nineties, Ukrainian journalist Hennadii Mokhnenko could not believe that after only 12 years his students will have a direct impact on the national executive and legislative power in Ukraine.
At the end of 90-s in the country had a horrifying situation with orphans and street children. Thrown out on the streets the children, at best, were adopted by a nice Italian family, and at worst - died in basements, sewers, or were sold for organ transplants to Israel.
Thousands of useless teenagers loitered the city markets, dumpsites and joints in search of shelter, food and cheap drugs.
In the early 2000s, ordinary Ukrainian journalist and priest Hennadii Mokhnenko began patrolling the streets, intersections and basements of this Azov city.
Literally pulling children out from urban hell, he suddenly came across an open confrontation with drug lords and their partners from law enforcement agencies. Not being able to tolerate the arrogance of drug dealers openly selling them to children and adolescents, Mariupol's Mokhnenko had the idea to march the main street with coffins, thus challenging the gangster regime in the city.
"When we found a body of a child in someone's apartment or basement, we literally forced the doctors to do their work," says this energetic giant. "We have become a thorn for corrupt officials and representatives of the regional authorities."
"In our country, there was a completely absurd situation," fumes Yevhen. "Children addicts dying in the basements were not paid any attention, but as soon as you start helping these street children, all the services start attacking you."
Again, basements, hospitals, detention center, group homes, underground pharmacies. "One day, people in Germany presented us with a minivan but because of bureaucracy and customs clearance we had to wait three years!" And a nine-year old orphanage 'Minister' kept his head and presented the old German Ford to the President of Ukraine. Children said in their petition: "You probably need this car more than we do - please, take it and use it!" Ukrainian customs immediately gave the minivan to Pilgrim Republic.
This Mad Dad, in the end, achieved recognition by the local authorities: the mayor of Mariupol supported the initiative, some of the local businessmen have joined, and even achieved that the administration paid the orphanage's bills for electricity. It regularly receives donations, things, and equipment from abroad.
For 20 years, Hennadii slept in the same room with the homeless on a mattress. "Last year my wife and I moved into a separate bedroom," he says.
This gray concrete cottage today houses eight children, six of whom are adopted. All in all, this Mariupol Mother Teresa has 31 adopted child!
"Dad, you promised me a bike!"
"Dad, Anopa stole my candy!"
"Dad, when are we go back to the mountains?" a homecoming for me would be a real torture, but the post-Soviet Makarenko loves children, and they, in turn, pay him with love.
In his childhood state, the Ukrainian activist has created its own laws, introduced its own currency - pilihryvnia, established Republican management style and even organized a special unit Mongoose for the protection of children's reserve.
Mokhnenko does not simply return children to home, but he tries to inspire his students with the idea that "people should be free, and be responsible for their actions and do not bow to corrupt officials."