Transforming the Lives of Ukrainian Orphans

Our Mission


Garry likes to take the students on crop tours on Monday mornings in the spring

Alter the Trajectory of Orphans’ Lives


In Ukraine, if you are an orphan, your life is almost destined to go down a destructive path.  Whether it is prostitution, crime, substance abuse, or other vices, Ukrainian orphans fall victim to many of these traps.  Our goal is to change that trajectory, and turn them towards God, and to transform them into productive members of society.

Currently CRMF is working in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine to fulfill that goal through our Group Homes and Trade School, where orphans receive mentoring in life skills , as well as practical skills which will allow them to find work.  Our first class of students began studying in September 2012, and we operate three group homes with Ukrainian Christian families for male and female students in the village of Nikolai Pole, where our school is located. With the ongoing  development of our dairy farm for the dairy farm track of learning, we have a place where the students learn to develop good work habits along with practical knowledge that may help them find work in the future.

After a one year break to retool the program, the second class of orphans began class in September 2014. In 2019 we are able to support the program through the farm as planned by John at the start. A number of lives have been changed, a number of young people have come to know the Lord, and we hope that many more will as the program continues here in the village. In November 2019 Scott and Shannon Crawford, missionaries with EFCCM joined us in the village.

Students at the Crawford’s house


Our Ukrainian humanitarian organization overseeing the program (translated to English) is Hope for Each, because we believe each of our students lives matter and are worth our time and investment as fellow children of God. Website is bi-lingual English and Russian , look under links/supporters to view.

Why Get Involved?

Help Transform the Lives of Orphans

Every life is precious, and worth fighting for.  But some lives don’t have a fighting chance without your help.  You can make an immeasurable difference in the life of an orphan by your support of our programs.

Students entering into our Trade School and Group Homes are given the opportunity to learn life skills that will allow them to thrive within a family, and be a positive contributor in society.  Many orphans turn to crime, prostitution, substance abuse, or even suicide, because they feel their life has no purpose. Your generosity and love will enable us to prevent this from happening in the lives of orphans, who might otherwise be lost.



Our goal is to not only to give these young adults practical skills, but to change their attitude towards life. Our promise to them is not to simply help them survive materially for the foreseeable future, but to begin a life transformation. As part of the Trade School there are three group homes that provide a family experience for these orphans.

Karina and Nastya in class


It is here that Ukrainian Christian personnel  have quality time with the students to teach them basic life skills, like budgeting, cleaning and cooking and how to function day-to-day in a family environment. Healthy marriages will provide a model for orphans who have rarely seen how these relationships work practically, and the sacrifice needed for success. Group home families will be that voice of encouragement that will allow them to succeed in their studies, and become confident individuals. These caring adults will be wind that propels them into the next level of success.



History of the Trade School

John and Evelyn Wiens came to Ukraine as missionaries after he retired as a Canadian Mennonite Brethren pastor. John grew up as a Saskatchewan farm boy with his brothers, who still farm there. They settled in the city of Zaporozhye, or Zap, as John called it. There he founded a church called New Hope, and started working with orphans through New Hope Center. He had real heart for the disenfranchised members of society, the orphans, the alcoholics on the edge of society. One night he woke up from a vivid dream of a trade school for aged-out orphans (those who leave the orphanages at 16 to attend trade school or university)  where they would learn life skills and live in family settings instead of staying in dormitories like those in state schools along with a productive trade. There would be a farm to support the school that the students could do work study at.  John could even describe the buildings and a pond in the village where the school was in the dream.

John and Ev met missionaries and Manitoba dairy farmers Garry and Teresa Verhoog in the village of Nikolipolia in the fall of 2009 and he talked to Garry about the school and asked him to help set up and manage the dairy farm he saw as the center of this program. When the original site didn’t work out, Nikoliapolia (Mikoli-Polye in Ukrainian) became the site for the trade school.

After a few years of fundraising (and founding CRMF) and going through Ukrainian government channels, the trade school opened to the first class of nine students in the fall of 2012, with official government status as a school, two group homes and a large staff, supervised by New Hope Center. Opening day was a big deal that year, with government officials attending. The following June, we graduated seven students with official government certificates as cattle herders. Some of the students became Christians and John baptized one of the girls in July 2013. However. the program was too expensive to continue in its present form, so it was extensively retooled that fall while John was in Canada and the US fundraising to finish the dairy barn renovation so the school could become self-sustaining.

John was diagnosed with cancer while home in BC in November that year. Our dear friend and founder of New Hope Center, John Wiens, entered into glory early January 2014 to join the celebration that was being prepared for him in heaven. We are still mourning his loss and will strive to carry his legacy of love, faithfulness, and Hope to the ‘least of these’ he left behind in Ukraine.