We are pleased to be able to inform you about another new project of our Fund. The project “Arms of Hope” will be implemented under the Fund’s “Under the Wing” Programme, with the support of the American non-commercial organisation Friends of Russian Orphans (FORO) http://www.fororphans.org/. This project is aimed at helping little ones in Baby homes. We have been preparing and working up to it for a long time. By helping Baby homes sort out its everyday needs, buying nappies and clothes, and putting the play area and laundry complex in order over the last two years, we have come to the conclusion that even in ideal living conditions, the children growing up in orphanages are still missing one main thing to have a normal life and development – loved ones. Having a mother (or a permanent caregiver) is very important, especially in the early stages of development. But the staff at children’s homes for infants often change – because of working in shifts, low salaries and psychological difficulties (after all, the fate of every young abandoned child is a tragedy which people frequently find hard to deal with), therefore many leave and cannot endure it.
Collective upbringing in children’s homes for infants does not allow children to form stable emotional relationships with adults on a permanent basis. The large number of small children in the groups prevents the necessary individual interaction between child and adult.
The latest scientific research suggests that in 90% of cases of a lack of constant attachment, the child will have developmental problems and emotional personality disorders. The consequences of such development problems are hard to rectify in later stages of life. This causes an acute initial problem for orphanages graduates. Often they cannot find their way in the adult world, are not able to form mutual relationships, love, make friends and care for others.
In our view, everybody is able to help solve this problem, all those care about the fate of orphans, by volunteering to visit and help the children in Baby homes. As a basis we used the experience of Bulgaria, where there has been a similar model for several years now and has brought immeasurable benefit to many children.
The project Arms of Hope will also include methodological assistance for the staff at Baby’s homes, training humane methods of raising young children, sharing Russian and foreign specialists’ effective methods of helping orphans. As we were explained, the majority of staff at Baby’s homes only undergo medical training, and do not receive additional modern knowledge on pedagogy, psychology and rehabilitation.
The basic principles of effective methods consist of individual interaction with each child. The conditions of the collective upbringing in the Baby’s homes means that it is not possible for the personnel to provide such interaction for many reasons, but trained team of volunteers will be prepared.
Children’s homes No.1 & 2 in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Region, were selected to be the first two pilot schemes of the programme. And for good reason.
Firstly, we have been working with these institutions since the fund was established in 2006. We trust each other and completely agree with the head doctors there.
Secondly we and the organisation FORO, who will finance the project Arms of Hope, have been working with the Baby’s homes in Dzerzhinsk for several years now and have already discussed the idea of a similar project with the institutes’ doctors.
Thirdly, the volunteer group “Miloserdiye” of Dzerzhinsk has already started it activities visiting the little ones given up by their parents and growing up in children’s homes in the city.
Our project is aimed at making sure the activities of the volunteers are professional and the cooperation of all adults (the staff and the volunteers) has been agreed upon and brings the maximum benefit to the children.
We would like to thank Miloserdiye for their hospitality and kindness. A special thank-you goes to Anvar for organising the excursion to the exhibition of excellent photographs taken by masters from Dzerzhinsk.
You can find more detailed information on the Arms of Hope in the section on programmes on our site, or by following this link: http://www.detinashi.ru/?en/programs