A New Hope for Volkhov Youth
Dasha has watched her mum Alina transform out of drug addiction into a leader with a heart for families seeking refuge from violence, addictions and poverty at the Women's Crisis Centre she and her husband founded.
Now aged 20, Dasha has seen a new need and her own heart has been stirred to serve the vulnerable. Like her mum she couldn't ignore people in need.
The Crisis Centre is in a town that has extremely high levels of poverty.
A moderate monthly income here is 12,000 roubles (around £120 by todays exchange rate) and some earn even less. These vulnerable families squeeze into one-room bedsits and children sleep on the floor. Needs are neglected, family life disintegrates and they experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex at young age.
In response to this issue, Dasha has started a youth group called ‘Open Hearts'. Vulnerable children from disadvantaged families are at risk of addictions, unhealthy relationships, teen pregnancies, emotional ill-health and for the younger ones, being sent to orphanages. She's already supporting children aged 8 - 16 who live at the Crisis Centre on a daily basis and has extend the group to children in the local area.
She recently told us of two young teenagers she's concerned about. Their mum was at the Crisis Centre to rehabilitate from her addiction. She left the programme early and returned to her old lifestyle leaving her two sons at risk of being placed in an orphanage again. Dasha is confident that with guidance and support from her youth group this risk will significantly be reduced.
In addition to fun, games and activities, Dasha leads educational discussions on topics that are often hidden like sex, relationships, HIV, drugs and alcohol. She wants to tackle these serious 'important to talk about' issues from a Christian perspective. She recently spoke with them about what abortion means and the consequences.
We are passionate about preventive work so by supporting this youth group we hope to stop children following the same pathways their parents took. Their lives are already challenging in so many ways so having some fun and extra guidance from Dasha will make a huge difference to them and their futures.
Dasha and her family, and the reformed men and women from both crisis centres continually amaze us. Their reputation to serve people in crisis and never turn anyone away has spread far and wide through the work of two crisis centres, an out reach project for the homeless and now Dasha's Open Hearts Youth Group!
This new project will cost around £350 each month to run -
We'd like to commit to this for as long as possible so Dasha can develop the group and build relationships with the children she plans to help.
Dasha has become a remarkable young woman. Just like her mum, she's seen a need and taken action - truly inspiring! We thank God for them and all they are doing through each of their projects. 🙏