The Transform Uzhhorod team is comprised of five Americans, two Ukrainians and two Nigerians who are working to bring transformation to the city of Uzhhorod, Ukraine. We have been present in this community for eleven years and have organized an alliance of 36 churches and organizations that we partner within our projects. Uzhhorod is the capital of the Transcarpathian region.
Uzhhorod is a city of 120,000 residents with many of the problems of a large city and capital. Within the city limits are five Roma squatter camps, with several more surrounding the city. Uzhhorod is also a university town with 20% of its population enrolled in the universities and colleges. The students include several thousand international students from Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist countries.
Our team focuses on three areas – Roma communities, University Students, and Children at Risk. Members of the Roma community outreach ministries would work alongside the Roma churches in bringing about transformation in the community. This would involve visiting the homes of Roma families and praying with them, leading outreach events for children, and assisting in the local Roma schools. Our Roma Outreach ministry is currently moving from a reactive role (primarily meeting needs brought to our attention) to a proactive role (developing a ministry plan to bring about transformation to the Roma community alongside Alliance members).
Some of the ways we have started working with the Roma people include: working with Roma churches to improve the living conditions within the camps by providing clean drinking water, access to vital medicine, food supplements for the elderly, improved care at the local polyclinic, garbage removal, safe playgrounds, etc. We also assist these churches with developing children and youth ministries.
We assist Roma young people in obtaining job skills while earning a salary so that they can escape from the confines of the squalid camps they are imprisoned within.
-Ability to share one’s faith and experience with evangelism and discipleship ministries
-Love for all people and races, heart for the vulnerable, poor, and oppressed
-Ability to plan and execute ministry events
-Interest in sustainable economic development
-Heart for empowering the next generation of leaders, experience with children and youth is very helpful
-Language aptitude or experience in cross-cultural communication