Homeless Odessa

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Photographer David Gillanders has spent some time in the company of homeless children of Odessa. The Ukrainian AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) asked David to show their everyday life. The fact is that nearly all these children take drugs and they are HIV positive, so they make up the most complicated group for the activists of the foundation as it’s too hard to communicate with them.

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45 thoughts on “Homeless Odessa”

    • Bollocks! MI6 and since XIX century. How do you think the commie revolution started? MI6 agents smuggled ten tons of afghan heroin to Russia and poisoned the minds of the weak thus the mighty Lenin had to do what he did!

    • Behind all your nationalist rhetoric and posturing you failed to notice the huge rise in Opium production in ‘Stan since we went in there. Europe is flooded with it, street prices more than halved in the last 4 years. Germany especially is feeling the brunt of it. It’s splitting NATO and could lead to several government falling over there (one has already) Read your briefings more carefully bro

  1. sad. i hope these people can be helped into a decent job and living, so they get some meaning in their life b4 they die.

    but hopefully they won’t spread around their HIV if they do get a normal job & living….

  2. We have to do something about what has caused this. These kids should be helped and rehabilitated. What a waste of future talent!

  3. this my home sity photo 29 & 30 is supermarket on my house. I send money home to Mama always to feed these young ones always. She gives them food and maybe somestimes the blanket
    Please someone help our children on Odeca. They need you they will by dead on 30

    thank you

  4. I was in odessa a year ago this month, and the poverty in this city is sickening, I bought two six year olds dinner that we found sleeping in the parking lot of a mcdonalds under a tree with some thirty year old dirt bag! I couldnt get out of Odessa fast enough!

  5. I grew up in Kharkov, Ukraine, and we also had a room in the basement, just like this one, where the neighborhood kids spend time smoking and drinking (we were about 12 years old at the time). Then some other kids would be smelling glue, smoking pot, or shooting drugs.
    But most of these kids made their choice to do that, no one forced them to. They all had homes as well – not always the best family situation, but they chose to spend time with their bum buddies in the basement shooting drugs, instead of playing sports and doing homework.
    I feel sympathy for these kids, but I believe they made these choices without giving much thought to the consequences.

      • I see, it must be the society that did this to them. These children have no part in it. That’s Bull! These teenagers know right from wrong. They know they should not be taking drugs. They probably think that doing homework is for the nerds and they are the cool kids on the block.
        I bet they are not homeless but use the basement room to satisfy the drug urge.

        • That’s because aha and you share a small brain. Just because you end up on the street with nothing does not mean your only option is drugs and alcohol.

          • I agree with lex, a lot of these young children are abandoned, sometimes as young as 8 years old.. It’s very saddening harsh reality, have seen some horrifying footage..

  6. A waste of time and money trying to help these people. You’ll never help them, because they are not ready to help themselves. It’s like trying to quit smoking when you really don’t want to, you’ll never do it.

    Only these people can help themselves, anybody else, is just enabling them to continue living this life style. Which really, should be a crime. By enabling them, you’re guilty of helping them live like this, which is akin to slavery.

  7. Children under 18 do not yet have a developed frontal neocortex to be able to make complex decisions. Risky behavior is one result. But I think under Communism almost all children were cared for by the State. They would be in the Young Pioneers or summer camps; There was not the hopeless poverty under Communism you have under capitalist governments where it’s “rugged individualism”, meaning let the poor fend for themselves while the rich are soaking in their jacuzzis.

  8. You mean the Ukranians didn’t starve by the millions, that the USSr really took care of them! That Stalin didn’t take the whole riff raff of the nation and put them in positions of authority? You mean that there was no man made famine in Russia in the 20’s? That Americsa didn’t save millions and millions of lives in Russia by shipping you wheat, when you had none?

  9. Homeless kids all over the world are like this…drugs, running away from home… by their attire you could put them anywhere in the EU. A big problem. The photo of the boys laughing near red car is like junkie kids I saw in UK bothering everybody on nights.

  10. Homeless? Looks to me like they have a home, and a lightbulb. Russia, Ukraine, Romania, India,… what is difference? Got 2 words for you all… Third and World! LOLZ!

  11. Reminds me of documentary about homeless kids on Moscow train stations “Children of Leningradsky” (available on Youtube) which almost won Oscar some years ago.

  12. Unfortunately this is a true picture of Ukraine’s street children.

    These children doesn’t choose this kind of life style. They are pushed and forced to it.

    Even they have a home address they do not have a secure home or loving parents who are waiting for them.

    Thank you for sharing these pictures and thank you for the great work you are doing.


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