A small team has been assembled to spend at least one week with a handful of meticulously selected orphanages. The team will be rallying support among local social workers, as well as introducing training and teaching materials. The program, modeled after MiraMed’s “Mi Sami” courses, has been widely successful in Moscow, endorsed by the State Duma, and extended to state-run institutions throughout the West of Russia.
It is time it reached the Far East.
For years, orphans have graduated from Russia’s children’s homes at the ages of 16 and 17 with little or no understanding of how to cope with life in the outside world. Currently, 15,000 orphans graduate from state care each year. Statistics show that only one in ten of these becomes a functional member of society while the rest resort to crime, drugs, prostitution, and suicide.
By teaching simple social skills, as well as techniques for supporting oneself in a community, the Social Adaptation Program equips these children with the skills necessary to thrive once out on their own.
In addition to launching the Social Adaptation Program, Yearn will be initiating a rigorous awareness campaign by illuminating the subject of Russian orphans through a documentary film. The Yearn team will include an experienced documentary filmmaker who will bring the extremity of the orphan’s plight to viewers across the globe.
Moscow, Russia (CNN) — Though Oksana is 4 years old, she is much shorter than other children who are a year younger. She barely talks, and yet doesn’t hesitate to climb up in her puffy dress to sit next to a visitor on a couch, after flashing an impish smile.
Administrators at Children’s Home Number 59 in Moscow say Oksana was found by police, after apparently being abandoned. She was then delivered to a hospital and eventually ended up at this orphanage.
Of the more than 83 children registered here, Oksana stands the best chance of being adopted — simply because she is one of the youngest children here.
Darya Tatarenko is a young child psychologist who works at Children’s Home Number 59. The 22-year-old graduate of Moscow State University has a deep personal interest in adoption: one of her sisters was adopted.