Fifty-year old Olga Nenya from Sumy (Ukraine) has 27 children. Four of them are the children of her own and the others are adoptive. Three of the adoptees are Ukrainian and others black, Russian weekly Argumenty I Fakty reports. Olga Nenya adopted the first child 25 years ago when she saw a TV program about an orphan asylum and little boy who was born with only one hand. Olga told her folks that she did not want to work at the plant anymore and that motherhood was her vocation in life ('nenya' means 'mother' in Ukrainian). She told her husband, "If our house can place three kids, why not find place for the fourth and fifth?" Place was found. Once she saw a black kid in an orphan asylum. The kid had almost no hope to be adopted.
Black children abandoned by foreign black students are seldom adopted in Ukraine. Their life in orphan asylums is terrible and Olga Nenya decided to adopt such children. Her husband did not approve her enthusiasm and left her after the first such adoption. And Olga started looking for abandoned black children. Mrs. Nenya says that her elder children help her bring up the little ones. Her kids are undemanding. They do not have expensive toys and clothes but are not starving, of course. The attitude to Olga's family is ambiguous. "Some people think I am crazy and that one day my children will raise a new breed in Sumy and populate the whole town," she says.
On the heels of National Adoption Month comes a documentary that explores the growing pains of the foster system in Ukraine, dissecting one foster mother Olga Nenya and her brood of 16 bi-racial orphans. A martyr for the cause of abandoned children, this foster mother fights tooth and nail to keep her family together. Unfortunately, her overbearing control of the children's freedom limits their future opportunities.
Documentary Family Portrait in Black and White introduces headstrong Olga Nenya, a foster-mother to 16 Ukrainian-African orphans struggling in a small village in racially charged Ukraine. Despite hardships caused by their lack of money and the racist attitudes of their compatriots, these abandoned kids function as a family under Olga's relentless dictatorial guidance. The film offers deep insight into a fraught community surrounding this one-of-a-kind clan and into the passions, hopes and hardships of a unique self-made family.
Human rights activism for equality of all races is still in infancy in post-Soviet republics, including Ukraine. The problems of racism were highlighted during the Euro Cup soccer championship this summer and have not disappeared. Many organizations are still fighting to force the government of the Ukraine to protect its bi-racial citizens and to prosecute racially motivated crimes with maximum sentences. Family Portrait in Black and White encourages more human rights organizations to take on this cause.