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Last Bell works with orphaned youth and families in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Last year we reached over 600 youth and family members; this year it’s a little more complex because of the war. We’ve begun helping refugee families, while we continue to meet the needs of our community at home and take care of our own evacuees in other parts of Europe.

In June, our Stop the Cycle moms’ group was able to start meeting at the Shelter facility again. These photos are from a recent meeting. The Shelter is a place where our families feel safe and the kids always have something to do, thanks in part to the Ball Project’s help! Orphanage graduates’ children love these indoor and outdoor spaces that were created just so they can move and play.

Ball Project is thankful for our partners in Ukraine & around the world working faithfully to strengthen communities & help children play.

We did a small advertisement with a desire to start soccer program to the Ukrainian refugees in Budapest. Only one boy came to the first practice. It was the son of one of our volunteers. Next practice we had 17 kids. It was a good time, lots of fun and activities that boys need at this time as they don’t have regular school time or sports time. Most of the time kids spend at home or at hotels. I was able from the beginning to start to tell stories of faith and encouragement and parents of kids were not against that. While I lead practices on the field, the rest of the team tries to build relationships with parents.

Third soccer practice, the word of mouth has already spread up among the Ukrainian community in Budapest and many people have learned about us. I was contacted by a big youth Ukrainian football team. Some players of the U-13 team are here in Budapest. They asked me to conduct practices for them. I’ve had two different practices, one with 11 players of the youth professional team and the other practice with 31 kids of different sport level. It was a bit crowded but still a lot of fun. It seems like all my years of work with kids at practices and camps helped me to be ready for these new challenges. Now we want to divide kids into two teams so we would be able to spend more quality time with them and would be able better serve them.


Ball Project is thankful for our partners in Ukraine & Hungary & around the world working faithfully to build communities & help children play.

Since the war in Ukraine began, fewer of our youth and families are in Zhytomyr. Many are now refugees. In Zhytomyr, our community is really feeling the impact of war. But after several months of reduced programming, we were finally able to invite some of our Stop the Cycle families to the Shelter for our first Stop the Cycle meeting of the summer. For these kids, our Shelter – including the equipment The Ball Project has provided – is a safe place to play and be together with their caring Last Bell family, even in the midst of war.

Ball Project is grateful for our partners in Ukraine & around the world working faithfully to build communities & help children play.

Help children play

“Give me a ball and I’ll have a thousand kids chasing after it.” –Solomon, Kenya

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