Life Skills & Mentoring
Mentors are the parents orphanage leavers never had but always needed. Mentors teach essential life skills and become dependable role models for orphanage leavers. They make themselves available each and every day - they really go above and beyond.
Love Russia works with Mentors, supporting them as they care for orphaned and destitute young people.
As well as the difficulties of finding somewhere to live, for 16 year old orphanage leavers, the skills to cope with everyday challenges are just as alien.
Mentors put a lot of their efforts into teaching the young people valuable life skills; cooking, cleaning, advice on how to spend what little money they do have, relationship advice, general health and hygiene advice and of course education about the dangers most orphanage leavers are affected by; drugs, alcohol and sexual health. Their naivety puts them at a higher risk than most of unwanted pregnancies and diseases.
Regular one to one guidance and Bible studies are also offered. Social activities such as birthdays, Christmas and days of fellowship are key to making the young people feel valued and cared for.
For Mentors there is little time outside of this voluntary work to earn enough to support their own families.
In addition to mentoring young people that have left the orphanage system, Mentors visit local orphanages to build friendships with the children so when the time comes for them to leave, they will have someone to turn to.
See Luka's story below.
Just £2 could provide multiple bus fares for attending essential life skills classes & college.
£20 could fund social & educational life skills activities for unprepared orphanage leavers.
£50 could help maintain Transition homes for homeless orphan teens.
Luka grew up in a dilapidated orphanage in a rural location. His parents, both addicts, were not fit to care for him and subjected Luka to physical abuse and neglect in his early years. Deemed as unfit parents, Luka was placed in the Russian orphanage system.
Love Russia Mentors, local Russian Christians, began to regularly drive the long journey into the countryside to visit the children at several out of the way orphanages. During their visits they would share Bible stories with Luka and all the other children, play fun games, do crafts and a great favourite – play football. As visits progressed, a football team began to emerge. Luka was very keen and wanted to play every time! Having done the same at other orphanages, Mentors were able to arrange inter-orphanage matches.
As a friendship formed between Luka and his Mentor, his Mentor helped him prepare for the time when he would have to leave the orphanage. When that day came, things didn’t go quite to plan and he ended up sleeping rough. With no experience of life outside an institution and a great desire for independence, Luka tried to go it alone. After a few weeks of sleeping rough, he eventually admitted that he needed help. Still having his Mentor’s contact details, he got in touch.
His Mentor set Luka up with a bed in a Transition home and began helping him find a college course that was suitable, as well as encouraging him at the Life Skills seminars his Mentor would hold for many other orphanage leavers.
With his Mentor always there for him, being the parent he’d always needed, Luka is gradually finding his way.
(Luka's name has been changed for his privacy and protection)