The Last Bell Ceremony marks the end of the schoolyear for orphans in Ukraine. For the 15- and 16-year-old graduates of Orphanage #4 in Zhytomyr, this means the end of life in an institution. They go on to trade school for two or three years and live in large government dormitories with minimal supervision.
The children displaced from Ukraine’s broken families are placed by the government in institutions; there they become wards of the state whose guardians are orphanage directors. There are about 100,000 orphans in Ukraine, and 4,000 of those are in the Zhytomyr region.