We run support groups for orphanage leavers who are struggling to adjust to independence and orphan mums coping in poverty and complete lack of family life to draw from.
These groups teach life skills, and both emotional and practical support is given by mentors to ensure young people’s needs are being met and they are developing towards greater independence.
Orphans leaving Russian orphanages at age 16 are ill-equipped for life outside institutions.
By age 20, nine out of every ten orphanage leavers will either be addicted to drugs or alcohol, be involved in crime or prostitution, will have died from poverty and being homeless or they will have committed suicide.
Love Russia, in partnership with local Russians, strives to transform these awful statistics. With intervention, marginalised young people have a chance at leading healthy, independent lives.
Another support group, for orphanage children near Ryazan, sees our project leader taking younger orphans for fun days out. This is so important for the children to learn and experience the outside world before independence is abruptly thrust upon them, and gives them the chance to get to know an adult who can help when they transition out of the orphanage system.
By partnering with local people, these goals can be achieved.
Donations towards support groups allows mentors to dedicate their time to this. Funding allows them to organise activities, provide resources (including food), provide transport, use premises and more.
Genya once struggled with his temper and confesses to having been a bully in the hierarchy for dominance that exists among orphanage children in institutions. Angry at the world he developed some very destructive habits.
Since being part of a support group he has become a gentle, helpful leader assisting his mentors with the newer, younger member to the group. They care for each other like family and Genya has became a Christian and is keen to share this with everyone.