A support group, run by Love Russia mentor Alina, cares for several orphan mothers including Olga. This is Olga's story told in her own words.
“When I was little I had a family, a family I thought was a normal ...but I knew nothing else. Mum and Dad were both alcoholic and argued a lot. I remember one in particular because Dad tried to kill Mum with an axe. Dad was put in prison for theft and I thought everything would change but it didn't. My Mum took him back and they continued to drink more heavily than before.
When I was 11, Mum and Dad split up and life became worse. My brothers, sister and I were not cared for and I remember a time we were left to wander in the woods alone. Because of neglect, my 7 year old brother Kolya and I were taken to an orphanage and my baby sister went to a baby orphanage. She was soon adopted and I was devastated; she'd been my responsibility while my parents were too drunk to care. Eventually we heard that Mum and Dad both drank themselves to death.
At the orphanage I met Nina and Oleg and their teenage daughter Alina who is now my mentor. They used to visit the orphanage to play games and read stories to us all. Life was hard here too but in a different way. My education until this point had been poor and the teacher was intolerant that I was so behind…it felt like a nightmare. As a young teen I was sent to a college several hours from anywhere familiar; here I met my husband who is much older than me. At 18, I gave birth to our son who was born with cerebral palsy. The doctors thought I should leave my son in the hospital but I couldn't do it and chose to bring him home.”
Unsurprisingly, as an adult, Olga struggles a great deal. Dasha (above), her son, is now 10 and his cerebral palsy is so severe he can't walk or even get up from bed unless Olga lifts him. He doesn’t speak and Olga can only feed him liquid. She has two more children (below), Anya, six years old, and Vlad, five years old, but rarely goes out because of Dasha. Her husband is distant and has his own serious health problems. Olga’s health is not good either. She has a lot on her shoulders. Thankfully, Alina is an active part of Olga’s life. As well as the group work, Alina visits her, prays with her and supports her through all her difficulties.
The support groups that Love Russia provides are a lifeline for mothers trying to forge stable lives after extremely traumatic childhoods. Help these groups continue to run by donating to our support fund.
This fund is used for food, clothes, medical support and other necessities for mums and children in the group. It also provides a small financial bursary for those mums struggling with poverty.
Or if you would like to begin regular support to enable Mentors like Alina run these groups head to our Guardians and Angels campaign.