My friends and I really like working on our farm. We love the animals, especially the calves and piglets. Thanks to RCWS, I know how to take care of them better, I respect other people's labor more and I have begun to have a more serious attitude toward responsibilities I am given.
— Sergei Petrov, Idritsky Specialized Orphanage, Pskov region
Orphanages and Homeless Shelters
RCWS is committed to giving orphans a sense of care and love once absent in their lives while also preparing them for the future. Many orphans in Russia are currently unprepared to take care of themselves or find a job, factors greatly contribute to the high rate of suicide, homelessness, prostitution and crime amongst former orphans. Donations translate to gifts of heat, transportation, improved living conditions, vocational training programs and other educational initiatives that prepare children to lead productive lives. Our goal is to help orphanages meet basic needs as well as promote comprehensive programs that help children develop into healthy and independent adults.
The story of children’s orphanages under the auspices of monasteries in Russia is embedded in a tradition that stretches across centuries. The Solba orphanage for girls is run by the
The girls receive a
All of the girls in the monastery are brought up to value discipline, whether it be with regards to academics, cleanliness and person hygiene or cooking and maintaining a household. As orphans, they experienced unspeakably sad living conditions, abuse, or cruel neglect. When surrounded with love and care, they blossom and quickly learn what it is to experience happiness and laughter. The nuns compare the process of raising these girls to cultivating gemstones. By giving them hope and encouraging their spiritual growth, the girls develop a strong identity with the confidence to eventually live independently.
Diana, now 15, was 2 years old when her mother abandoned her and left her to drift from orphanage to orphanage. Her grandmother took her to Solba when she was 9, at which point Diana was illiterate, had developed a smoking habit, and was exhibiting troublesome psychological symptoms. Today, she is in ninth grade and has proven to be a dedicated pianist as well as a successful student.
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