Part of Men On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, this month on Curzon12.
The fall of The Soviet Union left Ukraine in a wake of social and political upheaval. The crippled economy and corrupt infrastructure produced little hope. However, a pastor and civic leader from Mariupol, Ukraine named Gennadiy Mokhnenko, made a name for himself by forcibly abducting homeless drug-addicted kids from streets of his city. He founded Pilgrim Republic, a children's rehabilitation centre and home for former street kids. With Gennadiy’s help over the years, things seem to have changed. Mariupol is no longer crawling with homeless kids. Many credit this largely to his efforts at Pilgrim.
Now, as the large majority of Ukraine leans towards a European Union inclusion, hopes of continued revitalisation seem possible. In the meantime, Gennadiy's centre has evolved into a more nebulous institution.
★★★★ "A powerful account of one man determined to make a difference in a country that is spiralling far beyond any individual's control" - Allan Hunter, The List
★★★★ "A compelling study of a controversial Ukrainian pastor" - Wendy Ide, The Observer