Hope and Dignity.  

Welcome to Wide Awake International (WAI). Founded in 2013, we are a nonprofit organization based in Oregon and Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Our vision is the deinstitutionalization of Eastern Europe's most marginalized children.  We believe in the dignity of every human being and seek to bring hope, dignity, love and improved quality of life to orphans with special needs in Ukraine. 

A summer morning in the grass = sensory rich

HOME. Everyone needs a home and no human should have to live without the love of family.  Our goal is to find and remove the barriers that keep families from bringing their children with disabilities home from institutions.  We are working to build group homes for those that are not able to be reunified with family. Our group home is a place of love and safety, where children and adults can live out the rest of their days with dignity.

We advocate for the adoption of children who are available for domestic and international adoption.



CARE. Every person deserves loving care when they are in need. We are committed to a high standard of care that maintains the dignity of our precious friends. 

We work with local and international partners to increase the quality of life and quality of care for orphans with disabilities.  We also work to build and strengthen the therapeutic web of support that will be there to catch these precious fellow humans as they are transitioned to family-style groups homes.


SPARK. To multiply our efforts, we hope to inspire both Ukrainian nationals and the international community to join this work. We would like to train a large community of compassionate parents and caregivers who can support the complex needs of children in various settings.

As internationals, we know the best work we can do is to be a creative spark so the local citizenry can solve this injustice and carry on this work for their fellow citizens.  


 "Institutionalized children are the most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation." - State of the World’s Children 2013, UNICEF


Wide Awake International  |  PO Box 12642 |  Salem, OR 97309 |   © Sea Legs Media