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Our History


Performance "On the other side of the sun" at the Ivan Franko Theatre

From September 2014 till October 2015 we worked on the staging of “On the Other Side of the Sun”. This performance, based on illustrations by Štěpán Zavřel for the children’s book “Sole Retrovato”, was adapted for our project by Polish actress, singer and composer, Olena Leonenko-Głowacka.

The second sociocultural inclusion project ended with this performance, staged at the Ivan Franko Theatre on October 12, 2015.

Key performers were children facing vulnerabilities and their talented peers.


Maryna Poroshenko visits the centre “Our Kids”

On International Family Day Maryna Poroshenko, First Lady of Ukraine, visited the Centre for Children in Need “Our Kids”.

Barbara-Maria Monheim guided a tour around the territory of the Centre, where guests saw a heat supply station, inspection well, and learned about the work of the geothermal system unit that supplies the Centre with heat and hot water all year round.


Prospects of Child and Youth Policy Development in Ukraine

April 24, a meeting took place at the Our Kids Centre between Ms. Barbara-Maria Monheim, founder of the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society, Mr. Konrad Pawlik, Deputy Minister for Co-operation and Polish Diaspora, Mr. Maciej Nowak, advisor of the Eastern and South America Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Ms. Małgorzata Twardowska, Deputy Director of the Eastern Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Mr. Dariusz Górczyński, Сhargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Poland to Ukraine, and Mr. Mykola Kuleba, Ukrainian President’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights.

The visitors exchanged their opinions on the implementation of the new GPUS project, namely the European-Ukrainian Youth Policy Centre (EUYPC), intended to become an international platform for youth work in Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership countries.


Unite for Children: Child Rights Network established in Ukraine

On December 17-18, in Kyiv was held an International Conference “The Role and Impact of Civil Society Organisations and Networks in Child Protection – European and Ukrainian Perspectives”.

During the conference, the Ukrainian Child Rights Network was represented to the public and the authorities for the first time.

The organization is representative and expert coordination body, formed by a group of NGOs in 2014 to strengthen child rights protection in Ukraine.


Discussion on creation of the Youth Policy Centre

October 15, 2014 at the Center “Our Kids” was conducted an official meeting at the invitation of Barbara-Maria Monheim, the founder of Structural subdivision of the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society in Ukraine (SSGPUS).

Among the guests were Dmytro Bulatov, Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Mykola Movchan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry for Youth and Sports of Ukraine, responsible for the European Integration, Jan Tombinski, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Dariusz Gurchinski, Charge d’Affaires of Poland in Ukraine, Daniela Bergeld, head of the Economic Cooperation Department, Mykola Knyazhitsky, one of the founders of the Centre “Our Kids”.

During the visit, the guests discussed the possibility of establishing a European-Ukrainian Centre for Youth Development based on the project “Our Kids”.


Performance "Venice. City of Hope" at the Ivan Franko Theatre

The pilot project of the Inclusion Program (2012/2013) was implemented under the auspices of the German film director Volker Schlöndorff in cooperation with Belgian choreographer Marc Bogaerts.

The project ended with the performance, “Venice. City of Hope”, at the Ivan Franko Theater in Kyiv on October 11, 2013.

The performance was inspired by the book “Venice Tomorrow”, by Štěpán Zavřel, a Czech dissident and famous author and illustrator of children’s books. “Venice. City of Hope” was the first in a series of cultural inclusion performances, all based on books by Štěpán Zavřel.


International Conference "The Way Ahead for the Eastern Partnership"

On October 11, we held the conference devoted to a discussion of the political and social dimensions of the Eastern Partnership, with the title „The Way Ahead for the Eastern Partnership“. Among the participants were distinguished guests: the German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, EU Commissioner, Stefan Füle, the members of the European Parliament, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski and Elmar Brok, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Konstantyn Gryshchenko, Representative of Ukraine to the European Union, Konstantyn Yelisieiev, as well as representatives of the Ukrainian Government and the City of Kyiv together with our sponsors, partners and friends.


Official grand opening of the Centre „Our Kids“

The grand opening of our Centre committed in the presence of many distinguished guests including the German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, EU Commissioner, Stefan Füle, the members of the European Parliament, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski and Elmar Brok, as well as representatives of the Ukrainian Government and the City of Kyiv together with our sponsors, partners and friends. With the opening of the Centre we also celebrated the completion of our third building.


Meeting with Štefan Füle

Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and Barbara-Maria Monheim, Founder and Chairman of the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society, met in Brussels.


Reception at European Parliament

Rebecca Harms MEP, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP and Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP organized a cocktail reception to present the “Our Kids Centre in Kyiv” at the European Parliament, Brussels.


EU Cooperation Counsellors share experiences in improving the lives of children and local community

Representatives of European Union embassies and cooperation institutes witnessed first hand how the EU is working together with its partners to help develop communities in Ukraine. Headed by Laura Garagnani, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the group of diplomats visited our social project in Kyiv – Centre for Children in Need “Our Kids”.

During the visit, EU representative Laura Garagnani stated: “By supporting civil society and helping communities identify and address their own needs and priorities, we can help facilitate practical and sustainable improvements to living conditions at the local level. I would like to congratulate the non-governmental centre “Our Kids”, and the local authorities on their impressive results thus far, and wish them every success with their next endeavour.”


Visit of the First Lady of Ukraine, Kateryna Yushchenko

Centre “Our Kids” welcomed the First Lady of Ukraine, Kateryna Yushchenko.


"Topping-out ceremony"

“Topping-out”-Ceremony with Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Tabachnyk and the Head of ISD Corporation, Serhiy Taruta.


Visit of H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden

Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden visited the Centre “Our Kids”.


Centre "Our Kids" Founding Ceremony

The founding ceremony, attended by such distinguished guests: Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Adam Martynyuk, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Sejm, Jozef Zyh, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine, Dietmar Stüdemann, MPs, heads of diplomatic missions in Ukraine, friends and sponsors.



On June 24, 2001 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the German-Polish Neighborhood Agreement we had organized in Berlin a musical outing on the Pfaueninsel and a Dinner on the Schwanenwerder Island. The proceeds of this Benefit Concert went to the Street Children Project “Our Kids” in Kyiv.


Concert and picnic with musicians from the German Opera, Berlin and the German Symphony Orchestra on the Pfaueninsel
Arcadi Volodos performed Schubert and Liszt
Christian Thielemann conducted Richard Wagner
Dinner on Schwanenwerder Island
Ballads for the night with the Rias Chamber Choir


“Jedes Kind scheint uns bei unserer Arbeit daran zu erinnern:
… ohne Kinder hätte unsere Arbeit keinen Zweck… ohne das Kind erlebten wir die letzte
Dämmerung, auf die nur noch die Nacht folgt…
Mein Kind, das bin ich selbst um eine Generation weitergerückt, lebendig in ihm, in seinen
Enkeln und Urenkeln, also unsterblich…
Man muss Mut haben, diese wunderbare, erquickende, leuchtende Wahrheit zu
verkünden, die froh macht und uns an die Dauer des Daseins
glauben läßt.”
Janusz Korczak, Sorgenkinder, Dzieci troski, Les enfants à problèmes, 1909



From 1997-98, during the flooding of the Oder/Neise area Barbara-Maria Monheim organized a relief program for the Opole region in Poland. In the summer of 1997 she organized holidays in Berlin and the surrounding area for 100 children from the worst affected parts of the province. A successful fund-raising campaign made it possible to provide hospitals in Nysa und Kiedzierzyn Kozle with important medical equipment to replace that which had been destroyed in the floods.