"On our last Monitoring trip, I was lucky enough to be part of a day trip for orphans. organised by Love Russia Mentors and accompanied by 'Teddy' the Husky!
At this particular orphanage, where the young people were collected from, the accommodation is laid out in ‘family groups’ with children of different ages sharing a few cosy bedrooms and a lounge room. The improvements in living conditions in recent years is staggering. Particularly impressive are the facilities for final-year girls in a halfway house; a self-contained apartment within the grounds of the orphanage. Here the girls are responsible for cooking and cleaning until it is time for them to leave the institution.
A number of these family groups were gathered and we piled into a couple of minibuses...
When we pulled up at a forest clearing the excitement was palpable - boys sprinted into the woods to find firewood for the barbecue grills. ‘Teddy’ the Husky was giddy with the prospect of so many playmates, a table was quickly set up and covered in bread, drinks, fruit and sweets.
This picnic was hosted in no small part by a successful local businessman and friend of LR's who has adopted a boy from this same orphanage. Teddy the husky was the star of the occasion, playing football and enjoying hugs from everyone while we picnicked and gave rides on a borrowed quad bike.
I met three young orphan girls - one who intends to become a computer programmer, one who is an aspiring chef, and another who would like to be a hairdresser. We plaited a flower crown and talked about their dreams.
These are brave, capable young people with so much potential, yet many of them are understandably apprehensive. I feel positive about their futures since they have the friendship and guidance from our Mentors, but I couldn’t help but think of the thousands more who will step out into the unknown without a single adult to call on.
As the sun set and bathed the scene in golden light I pondered how much it must mean to these young people to tumble about in the outdoors with a football and eat together in the fresh autumn air. I cherish similar memories of my own childhood summers with cousins, I’m thankful for those people who care enough to treat lonely children like family, and the countless more who pray and give to allow these events to take place.”
If like us, you value the efforts our Mentors make with orphans and orphanage leavers, you can give a gift towards their work here.
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