A PAIR of Sussex missionaries have been to Ukraine to help secure a better future for orphans.

During the past two years, Fritha and John Washington, both 30 and from Lewes, along with two-year-old daughter Bethel, have been working hard to secure premises to use as a family home for young women who might otherwise end up in the sex industry after coming out of orphanage care.

And, after gaining the support of St John the Baptist Church in Southover, Lewes, their vision is to have an entire network of such transition houses across Ukraine. Mrs Washington said: “Since independence from Russia over 20 years ago, Ukraine has done really well in trying to reverse the legacy many communities inherited.

“We want to help in that work to relieve the suffering and hardship faced by so many young lives there today.

“Everyone has been absolutely amazing.

“So many of the congregation have rallied behind us morally, financially and spiritually.”

Their car was stolen in the Ukraine and now they are looking for a bigger vehicle to transport more children.

Mr Washington said: “We need something bigger, but not anything which will draw attention to our work and make us a target. There’s an enormous need.

“So many of these vulnerable young people lack the basic skills we take for granted.

“Everything from how to cook, do laundry, wash, money management and even brushing your teeth.

“We’re having to show them everything.”

While back in Lewes, the Washingtons will be busy fundraising to allow them to expand their Youth With A Mission (YWAM) project which is being run in Vinnitsa – a city located in west-central Ukraine.