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Ohio woman helps move thousands of Ukrainian orphans from war torn areas into 'New Horizons' safe havens

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Posted at 7:09 AM, Mar 30, 2022

LVIV, UKRAINE — Since 2009, New Horizons for Children has helped Ukrainian orphans.

“For us, specifically, our mission is for the orphan children and those aged orphans who are 18 to 21 but still don't have any roots or the ability to take care of themselves,” said Executive Director, Dr. Sherri McClurg.

McClurg, an Ohio native, says she went to Ukraine before war unfolded as a precaution.

“I actually went to Ukraine so that we could start to prepare for whatever was coming with the children. So, I was there at the time when everything unfolded and we started evacuating the children,” she explained. “To be honest, it was pretty horrifying.”

McClurg and her team are currently working non-stop to help orphans evacuate war-torn areas of Ukraine and move them from the east side of the country to the west side. To do this formally, New Horizons for Children recently entered into an agreement with the Lviv regional military.

“We've established all sorts of safe havens; safe havens really close to the border. We've done that to minimize the amount that these children are going through because when they cross the borders, they now get subsumed into somebody else's system of care and they're no longer speaking the same language,” said McClurg. “It gets a little bit more chaotic to try to minimize the trauma.”

She says they've helped more than 1,000 orphans relocate to Lviv.

“There was one group [that] broke my heart because these kids were in a very heavily area that was being shelled and they had been in their bunker for over eight days and they hadn't come out,” she recalled. “To get them all the way across the country, get them across safe routes, get them through all the military checkpoints, that added like almost another 30, 35 hours to this whole ordeal and all they had were their pajamas. They had nothing.”

McClurg estimates they'll move hundreds more children in the coming days. She plans to return to Ukraine in the next week or two to help move more children and bring supplies like food and clothing across the border.

To help donate to New Horizons for Children, click here.