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Orphanages
 

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

Russian orphansRCWS 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.

 

Solba Orphanage

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 Nikolo-Solbinsky convent and is a sparkling example of this tradition. The shelter has been open for almost 10 years and today houses 49 girls between the ages of 4 and 18.

Solba OrphanageThe girls receive a well-rounded secondary education in all subjects. Further, the curriculum implemented by the Nikolo-Solbinsky convent broadens the children’s inner world and allows them to evolve spiritually, intellectually and physically through music, singing, drawing, sculpture, pottery, mosaic, and other classes rooted in the arts. The girls also hone their skills in a choir that performs everywhere from sleepy rural villages to the Kremlin. Last year, the girls’ choir sang at a gala held by the Spivakov Foundation and the group has released a number of recordings. They are always eager to perform and excited to accept invitations to events where they can entertain guests with their beautiful singing.

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.

Your contribution will help children in need. Please click here to help or call 212-473-6263