We support a group called Open Hearts Youth Group. It is specifically for vulnerable children and teens from vulnerable homes and families in crisis.
Their group leader provides consistency, care, attention and the stability that every child needs. This group meets basic needs where food and clothing is lacking and activities are an important part of helping them develop into happy and healthy young people.
In the area where the Open Hearts Youth Group is run, there is a lot of poverty, addiction and homelessness. These challenges have a knock-on effect to the children and teenagers from these homes. There is neglect and sadly they miss out on opportunities that help development, build friendships and educate these children - but this group is changing all that!
Love Russia, in partnership with local Russian Christians, run this group. With the consistency that comes from having reliable adult role models in their lives, marginalised young people have a chance at having healthy, independent futures.
The children who attend this group are made up of children connected to the crisis centres where parents have come to find safety from domestic violence or recovery from addiction and for many, it is both poverty and homelessness that brought them here.
Other children are from the local area and have been identified as coming from a home where they are being neglected due to parental addiction or parents are simply struggling to raise their children because of poverty.
Donations towards this child-focused support group allows project leaders to dedicate their time to this. Funding allows them to organise activities, provide resources, give food, arrange transport, use premises and more.
Aged 14, Matvei called the Women's Crisis Centre asking for help for his family of two younger brothers and his mum who needed help with alcoholism. He'd secretly saved money and at last, had enough to get them all on a train to reach the centre. Since arriving, his mum has been freed of her addiction and both she and Matvei have found Jesus. What helped Matvei through this difficult time was the support group for teenagers based at the centre where he could discuss all his difficulties, a group that, now he is 18, he is helping to run!