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Timothy is 7 and just celebrated his 1st real birthday

Alongside women who find help at the crisis centre are their children...Meet Timothy.

Timothy grew up in a violent home. His mum was abused by his father. This meant he didn't grow up and play like a typical child or experience carefree fun... and there were certainly no celebrations of birthdays. Two years ago, a new baby boy triggered in his mum a greater desire for a safe childhood for both her sons. Finding help to escape domestic violence is tough anywhere, and in Russia it can feel near impossible. Sofia spent one year building the courage to leave and searching for somewhere that would accept both her and her sons. Thankfully, she heard talk of a rare crisis centre. Arriving at the crisis centre with nothing but her two children...Finally, they were safe. After many months, Timothy began to relax and lose some of the anxiety he'd lived with for six years. At last, he could play and enjoy being a child. Sofia began to relax too which freed up her emotions to invest in her sons during the most important time of their lives. And, she was no longer parenting alone, she had support from Alina and other mums at the centre.

Not long after they arrived Timothy celebrated his ‘first’ birthday; his first birthday in safety where his mum presented him with a cake and his life was celebrated. While we know that expressing love to a child is not about money, it's hard for a parent in poverty, coping with constant abuse, to give these special moments to their children. Even sadder is that so many of the young people we support don’t know when their birthdays are. As an orphan with no birth certificate from a large institution, knowing when your birthday is, is rare.

We want to celebrate each person we support; this year that's around 200 people. We are asking YOU to join this celebration...

  1. Buy a birthday card and fill it with a monetary gift (cheque or cash). The card could be suitable for a vulnerable mum, one of her children, an orphanage leaver or an orphan still living in an orphanage.

  2. Send us your signed birthday card (no larger than A5), with a short message if you wish, to: Love Russia, Manor Farm, Church Lane, Thrumpton, NG11 0AU.

  3. We'll deliver your card to an appropriate recipient and their birthday money will fund a small gift for them as well being shared among the projects that support them all year round!

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