UCM Alumna Advocates for Orphans in Ukraine

Allina Robie gives juice boxes to children she works with in Ukraine. I knew moving here would be a risk, Robie said. I also knew that war creates more orphans. Whether because of death, poverty, displacement or fear - there would be more vulnerable children because of this war.

Photo by Jessica Wyman

Allina Robie gives juice boxes to children she works with in Ukraine. “I knew moving here would be a risk,” Robie said. “I also knew that war creates more orphans. Whether because of death, poverty, displacement or fear – there would be more vulnerable children because of this war.

Written by Emma Fischer, News Editor

  Allina Robie, 2017 UCM graduate, spends her days learning another language and building a life for herself in Western Ukraine—while also caring for orphans. 

  Robie graduated with a degree in English literature and minors in marketing and creative writing.

  “My college years were very impactful on the woman I am today, not just because of the classes I attended, but because of the life experience I gained through campus life and involvement,” Robie said.

  While being an honors student, Robie also worked in the Honors College office and at Muddy Creek BBQ, and she was an active member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. 

 “I was very involved in Panhellenic activities and learned so many practical ways to live life with a purpose through philanthropy events and personal development opportunities,” Robie said.

  After Robie graduated, she participated in The World Race, an 11-month mission trip. During the trip, Robie worked with vulnerable children around the world and visited Ukraine in the ninth month of her journey. Robie said that her time on the mission trip gave her life a purpose that she had never felt before.   

  “After my year with The World Race, I did go back to the States for a year and worked in marketing for a non-profit,” Robie said. “[I] really worked on getting myself to a healthy place in life and started dreaming about how I could set myself up to have a life serving vulnerable children.”

  Robie said that Ukraine also captured her heart during her travels there, and Ukraine faces an orphan crisis that many people do no’t know about. 

   “I really considered working within the foster care system in the States, but the need in Ukraine spoke to me so specifically,” Robie said.

  Robie moved to Ukraine on Feb. 1, 2022. She now works with a state-run toddler orphanage in Western Ukraine, which houses nearly 80 children, ages zero to five. Robie spends Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of her week with two-year-olds and special needs children. The other days of her week she spends helping displaced Ukrainians find places to live through contacts in Romania, Poland and Slovakia. Robie said she also shops for groceries, diapers and other supplies for at-risk families.

According to the International Organization for Migration, nearly 7.1 million people have been displaced by the conflict with Russia.  Robie said she was aware of the tension between Russia and Ukraine since she visited in 2018. When the war began on Feb. 24th, it didn’t take Robbie long to realize she would stay

 “I didn’t move here because it was the comfortable or easy thing to do, I moved here because I wanted and felt called to serve the Ukrainian orphans,” Robie said. “War didn’t change that, it simply reinforced it.”

  Robie said she was motivated by her faith to pursue advocacy for orphans. 

  “I was called to Ukraine in the way that one might feel called to be a doctor or teacher,” Robie said. “I know that we are all created to do more than survive [in] this one life we are given, but to thrive, impact and love.”

  Traci Butler, administrative assistant to the vice provost for academic programs and dean of graduate studies and research, worked with Robie in the Honors College. Butler first met Robie in 2015 when she hired Robie to edit and design the Honors College’s electronic student newsletter, “Honorably Speaking.” 

  “Allina always wore her heart on her sleeve and expressed empathy for others,” Butler said. “It has been such a joy watching how God has used her through her various mission experiences. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her servant’s heart!”