Do You Have Any Questions?

Thank you for your interest in Wide Awake International. If you have any questions that are not answered here please do let us know. We would be happy to talk with you!

You keep talking about Dim Hidnosti. What is that? What does it mean?

I know, I know, it’s confusing. Wide Awake Int. is a nonprofit (US 501c3) registered in the state of Oregon, USA. Dim Hidnosti is a nonprofit registered here in Ukraine. Simply put, Dim Hidnosti is the Ukrainian arm of Wide Awake Int. They are one and the same, just with different names and different locations. “Wide Awake” does not translate well into Ukrainian. It doesn’t make sense in the way we mean it, so the Ukrainian nonprofit needed a new name. “Dim Hidnosti”, in Ukrainian, means “Dignity Home”.

How has the war affected your lives and your work? Why do you stay in Ukraine? Is it safe?

The war has changed everything. It is always there, either right in our faces, staring us down, or in the background, looking over our shoulders. It has changed much about our lives, but it has not changed our vision or our mission. In fact, we believe that the work of Wide Awake and Dim Hidnosti is more important now than ever before. That is why we stay. We stay because our boys in Romaniv cannot leave. We stay because God has called us to be a light in this dark place. We stay because people with disabilities in Ukraine need to know dignity, love, and hope and we cannot bring that to them from far away. We stay because Ukraine is our home and Ukrainians are our people. When the war first started and our city was actively being bombed we left with our boys and our team and lived as refugees in Germany for 4 months. But, the refugee life was not for us. We recognized the need to be here, in this place, moving forward the vision God has given us. Russia has stolen so much but they will not steal our hope. No, it is not necessarily safe anywhere in Ukraine, but our region is not on the front lines. Russian troops are far from us. We are always assessing the risk to our boys and our children, as they are our first responsibility, and as of now, we feel we are supposed to stay in Ukraine, our home.

Why do you only work with boys and men? What about the girls?

We recognize that we are not the answer to the whole problem of deinstitutionalization in Ukraine. We are simply a spark of inspiration for others, a picture of what deinstitutionalization can look like here in Ukraine, but we are not the solution for everyone. The institution we are focused on and where we have relationship is only for men, so men are our focus. Also, we are not equipped for men and women with disabiliites living together on the Homestead.

I know of a person with disabilities living in an institution in Ukraine. Can you take him/her to live on the Homestead?

Here at Wide Awake Int. we understand the importance of “staying in our lane.” We hope to be an inspiration to others, a picture of love in action. We don’t want to do any more or any less than what God is asking us to do. We have a strong relationship with an institution in our region where all of our boys have come from and are committed to freeing our friends who remain in that place. That institution is our focus and the deinsitutionalization of men with intellectual disabilities in our region is our niche. We wish we could help every person who is without family, but we know we can not. That’s why it’s so necessary that this work is replicated by others.

How can I adopt a child from Ukraine?

Thank you for your interest in opening your home to a child who needs a family. The decision to adopt is a beautiful and necessary action in our world today. Adoption is not easy, but it is lifechanging and even, sometimes, lifesaving. Unfortunately, during this time of Russia’s all out war in Ukraine, international adoption of Ukrainian children is not possible. When the doors to adoption from Ukraine open again we will be sure to post helpful links for those interested in learning more.

Can I come volunteer at the Homestead?

It takes many open hearts and loving hands to make this work possible. Volunteers have played an important role in Wide Awake becoming what it is today. We are so thankful for the many volunteers who have given their time and their love to our boys. Because we are a small organization and boys are so vulnerable, volunteering happens only through relationship. If you are interested in bringing a small team of volunteers to Ukraine feel free to contact us. Long-term volunteers must make a commitment of at least two years. Contact us if you would like more information.

What is the best way to donate?

Why thank you for asking! You can find all the ways to donate here.