Tanya & Vasico Machabeli — Nehemiah Center

The Nehemiah Ukraine team works to collaboratively build the church and community of western Ukraine through practical services and training, with a special focus on vulnerable populations and on long-term community change. During times of war we become a regional center for refugee housing and support.

Critical Need
The Russian war against Ukraine has created a massive exodus of refugees and internally displaced persons from all over Ukraine, many of whom are coming to or through Uzhhorod. We are looking for both immediate and long-term supporters to rally around us to help Ukrainians and others fleeing this crisis.

Donations support the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons: shelter, food, medicine, and other needs on an individual basis. Please feel free to reach out to us by email with your questions, or via the Facebook group Friends of Nehemiah Ukraine!
Our Focus Areas
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, especially women and children, orphans and other vulnerable populations. We serve as a coordinating organization for the local regional and city administration. Refugees are placed with us or otherwise find us, and we use all resources at our disposal to help them. We use our networks to help evacuate and safeguard various groups with a special focus on orphans and other vulnerable populations. We are located just a few minutes from the border of Slovakia, so we can accompany those leaving the country, as well as those who decide to stay in the only region of the country that has not yet been attacked, as of 3.3.2022.

During times of peace, we focus on the following areas:
  • Orphans and foster families. We promote family-centered foster care as a preferential alternative to institutionalized care; we manage the Transcarpathian network of Ukraine Without Orphans. We support local foster families directly by providing foster-care training, humanitarian aid, and psychological support and networking, and we serve orphans directly by training volunteers to mentor them one-on-one, sponsoring Christian camps and retreats, and providing them with occupational, financial, first-aid, and child safety training. For those aging out of the system or on summer break, we offer job placement in our camps and café.
  • Children and families. We work to promote a different future for Ukraine’s children through the development of creative and effective pedagogies countering the traditional Soviet rote methods. As Christians with Montessori credentials, our team trains teachers and parents to respect the God-given personhood of the child, and to maximize each child’s potential. In Ukraine, this is a revolutionary new approach, and is opening many doors.  
  • Special needs children and their families. We work collaboratively with the city to create support network mechanisms for special needs families, including most recently the “Social Nanny” project, which provides several hours of free time per week to parents of special needs children. We also provide Montessori training to special needs parents, and humanitarian aid as needed.
  • Abused/trafficked women and children. We provide short-term shelter, assistance with legal documents, individual and group spiritual and psychological support, and job placement assistance.
  • Internally Displaced Persons, and widows and orphans of war (local refugees from the war in eastern Ukraine). Our involvement with IDP and war survivors includes family support through free summer camp attendance, spiritual and psychological support coordination, short-term hosting of families, and the coordination of humanitarian support.
  • Pastors and ministers. We work interdenominationally to provide training, retreats, and marriage support to leaders of churches all over the region.
  • Roma communities. We provide culturally-contextualized teacher training to support the local Roma primary and preschools, as well as ministerial training for Roma church leaders and staff. We also coordinate various means of humanitarian support, including feeding programs for needy children.
  • Artists. We work to foster the cultivation of local artists through creative, spiritual, technical, and entrepreneurial training for a global market, collaborating with professional artists locally and internationally.