6 local families host orphans from Ukraine for holidays

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Six central Indiana families are hosting orphans from Ukraine for the holidays. The purpose is to help them spend Christmas and New Year’s in a family environment.

It’s through KidsFirst Organization. The foundation helps give orphaned children around the world a better life.

Nine children are in the U.S. for three weeks. They’re between the ages of 9 and 14 and are from group foster homes in Ukraine.

The children have done a lot of activities across the city like visiting various Christmas lights, ice skating, painting and gathering with their host families for meals.

Host families are encouraged to integrate the children into their lives.

Most children do not speak English, so parents use an app to translate what they’re saying.

One common theme from each host family is that the children want some affection.

“The child that we are hosting appreciate the love,” Indianapolis host Camila Pejnovic said. “She does appreciate the love. She’s very, in some ways, needy and she comes to us and we hug. It’s the little things you do because they don’t have much of anything. They just want affection and to be appreciated.”

The foundation hopes this is an opportunity for an orphan child to experience a new culture and the potential to be adopted and find a forever family.

The children go back to Ukraine on January 9.

To learn more about KidsFirst Foundation, click here.