Walking Beside for a Lifetime
28 years ago, we were walking beside children living in orphanages.
They'd been abandoned, rejected and these overcrowded institutions were bleak with inadequate access to emotional or physical care. Despite the passing of over 20 years, many of those we supported as children still need our help today.
Valya was at an orphanage when we first met her during summer camps. Now, she and her daughter are helped through our support groups and by mentors. She needs lots of guidance to make good decisions and as a single mum, in and out of bad relationships, and living below the poverty line, she needs her bursary from us to care for her daughter. For her, finding the motivation to work and then getting reliable employment, is a struggle.
Scientific Research has emerged which reveals that this pattern of struggle is typical in adults who have been through ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACEs). ACEs include different forms of abuse, neglect and family circumstances including parental mental illness, domestic violence and criminality. ACEs are also sometimes referred to as ‘childhood trauma’.
Dr. Vincent Felliti found some shocking links between the number of ACEs experienced and mental, social and physical issues as adults.
Experiencing four or more ACEs as children means that, as adults, they are...
1.6 x more likely to develop cancer 12.2 x more likely to die by suicide 7 x more likely to become an alcoholic
One of the most shocking discoveries was for those who have experienced six or more ACEs...
Life expectancy is, on average, 20 years
less than those with no ACEs.
All these effects are a result of changes to the brain and body as an adaptation response. Research shows clearly that ACEs affect numerous aspects of life and can last a lifetime.
All of those we support in Russia have experienced ACEs.
Before she was 12 years old, Yulia from one of our support groups experienced...
her mum being addicted to alcohol
her father abandoning her
emotional and physical neglect
separation from her mum and brother
being cared for by her Grandmother, and soon after grieving her death
then being placed in an orphanage.
As a charity we've been there for young adults battling the ramifications of childhood trauma for 20 plus years. Standing by them is important to counteract the abandonment they once went through. We are so blessed to be in a position to help.
As it was so eloquently put by one of our beneficiaries who was thanking us for our support; “It’s God’s help in your hands”. What a privilege to be God’s hands to over 250 precious individuals in need of our aid in Russia!
This year, if you would like a personal challenge and a way to respond, take a look at our MOVE 100km Challenge! Through raising sponsorship you can support all our projects that help orphans and adults in crisis still dealing with ACEs today.