We have a new story we want to share with you, Øystein and I. This time it’s not from Malawi, though. Ukraine takes the first place in the world ratings of alcohol consumption among children and youth, and the story of Luda could possibly add to the statistics, although she is determined to stay away from drinking.

For the whole story go to Øystein and Otto’s Blog.


18 thoughts on “Hangover

  1. Otto, I can’t begin to compose my response to this post of yours. I’m afraid i will take up so much space in this response box. It might as well be an full post, I wonder. As I read the piece you and Oystein are highlighting, so many thoughts cross my mind about this. Sigh! What a sad start at life. What an opportunity to break out. What great reporting from you both.

  2. I also hope she doesn’t fall victim to alcoholism, but unless she makes a concerted effort to change her life, get an education and reasonable job, one inevitably drifts into that life (without even being aware of it). Doesn’t help that moonshine is part of the culture.
    Alcoholism is a worldwide curse.

  3. Having had Ukrainian grandparents I can vouch for the drinking culture … and they were many thousands of miles from it here in Australia … it must hard there to be surrounded by both plentiful mooshine and depressingly hopeless surroundings.

  4. Oh yes, this is a big problem there. I also know some russians, polish people, czech etc. They all can´t stay without alcohol.
    Your capture is very good. It shows like it is.

  5. it’s so sad, I have Ukrainian friends in Germany, and most of them either drink or have alcoholics in the family. it’s strange how persistent this habit seems to be…

  6. Speechless, deep in thought and wanting to write so much but I can feel it my heart but cannot write it down just yet as I need to absorb the images and the fight of Luda and her friend. One thing …however poor or low these children in life appear to be they still manage to smile, but like the children I have worked with in Southern India, they are so often robbed of their childhood… having to grow up quickly to survive

  7. Beautifully written and the photos are perfect – really nice that you ended on a happy note with the hug of the two girls. I didn’t know how bad things were in Ukraine so I didn’t know that it was the country with the highest alcohol consumption among children viz the WHO.
    There is nothing I can add except add my crossed fingers and hope that the daughter manages to stay away from the moonshine.

  8. I had no idea of that statistic. I will visit that link, but I feel it will be very solemn. This is tragic.

  9. There is hope here in that Luda is going to a special school and is boarding there, so at least her needs are recognized at that very basic level. It gives her a better chance than she has at home. Plus, there is a lot of good information on alcoholism available, including over the Internet. I’ve been sober over 26 years and can say that the most important thing for her is simply never to start, or the genetic and cultural odds are stacked against her. I’ve never been to Ukraine, but when I was in Russia, the pressure to drink was absolutely enormous — and not subtle at all. People made a big deal of my not having vodka to make a toast, and they went on and on and on about it, “teasing” but underneath it all, quite serious that my not drinking was an offense to them. Luckily, I was secure enough in sobriety that I knew it would be foolish to have a drink just to please my hosts. For Luda, this will be harder, but not impossible.

    I feel very sorry for her grandmother, mother, and uncle. They were once young and innocent like her, but did not have the knowledge available to them that we have now, so they hardly had a fighting chance.

    Thanks for publicizing this.

  10. Thanks for this story. I like the way how they look in the photos. There is trust. Hope her mother will change soon.

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