Love Russia Coronavirus Response Fund
During this pandemic, those we help will become even MORE vulnerable. Our work cannot stop, we must just adapt the way we deliver our support.
"Businesses are closed and there is no work for our women. We have no money to pay utility bills at our centre that supports so many vulnerable women and children. Please pray for us."
The coronavirus pandemic is impacting economies worldwide. While governments scramble to create rescue plans and mitigate for its impact; as a charity, we must do the same. The quote above is from A, who runs the crisis centre that houses 40 vulnerable women and children.
We've already received requests for support from people who can no longer afford food. Many vulnerable people in Russia work unofficially so will receive no income during this extended time out of work.
We support :
*Abused women: Women at risk of being killed by abusive partners/husbands desperately need emergency accommodation. We provide this at a crisis centre for women AND their children. 14,000 women are killed due to domestic violence in Russia each year (1).
*Orphanage leavers: These young people experience ongoing repercussions from traumatic childhoods. Their experiences include witnessing the murder of parents, abuse, ongoing mental and physical scars, parental addiction, homelessness, abandonment and a childhood spent in an orphanage. Now they face independence without family support. Our young people receive regular help from a safe adult, a Mentor, who counsels them and helps them overcome their trauma. This support cannot stop. 10% of orphanage leavers die or commit suicide by the age of 20 (2). This work is time critical.
*Vulnerable orphan mums: They need support groups to survive. They are 'at risk' families living in poverty and learning to parent with no life skills or family support. Some have attempted to take their own lives, but through a support group, are successfully bonding with and parenting their children. A mum, whose severely disabled son recently died, began drinking to cope, putting her other children at risk of being put in an orphanage. At group, she knows she isn't alone. Being supported emotionally and practically equips vulnerable mums to be the parents their children need. Without it, children are needlessly placed in institutions, repeating the orphan cycle.
*People in Poverty: Minimum wage in Russia is less than £1 an hour (3). This isn't enough to live on and survive as the cost of living (4) is comparable to here in the UK. These vulnerable people receive support through bursaries and shelter at the crisis centre and transition homes. Preventing homelessness helps keep families together and reduces the risk of young people turning to drugs, alcohol or crime.
*Addictions: Women facing addictions in Russia often lose their children to the orphanage system when they seek treatment. Maintaining the family unit is a huge motivation to recovery which is why we support a crisis centre where women can keep their children with them whilst they undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation programme.
*Young people with disabilities: Empowering those with disabilities to gain independence is still a relatively new concept in Russia. Often these young people fall between the cracks and end up living in dangerous accommodation. We run projects to empower these young people, to ensure their housing is adequate and that they have the resources they need to thrive.