Yearn is always looking for great organizations who are doing great things and this project by St. Gregory’s Foundation is particularly inspiring. Please read excerpts from the globalgiving.org article below for more information.
Teenagers in St Petersburg orphanages and recent orphanage-leavers are supported by psychologists and volunteer families to help them make the difficult transition to adult life. Training is also given to orphanage, college and hostel staff who wish to improve how they care for this vulnerable group.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Around 1,000 children live in orphanages in St Petersburg. When they leave at age 17 or 18 many of these teenagers will quickly find themselves homeless, around 40% will become drug addicts and a shocking 10% will commit suicide. Social isolation is a big reason why orphanage leavers find it hard to adapt to independent life. As child they lived and went to school in an orphanage and may well have no friends or family outside who can support and guide them when they leave.
How will this project solve this problem?
Teenage orphans and orphanage-leavers go to weekly meeting with psychologists to prepare them practically and emotionally for adult life. Volunteers who also grew up in orphanages use their own experience to help the younger orphans. Training is also offered to staff from the orphanages or hostels where they live and the colleges where they study, who wish to improve the care they offer to this vulnerable group.
Potential Long Term Impact
Around twenty young orphans will be given advice and social contacts that will help them make a successful transition to independent life. Their success will benefit the whole community, meaning lower crime and lower welfare dependency.
“Once I lived in a children’s home. Now I’m grown up I have my own family. It wasn’t easy for me to start living independently. I want to tell you about it ‘cos soon you’ll be in the same situation.”
– Olga, Volunteer who suggested the project
Total Funding Received to Date: $6,078
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $8,646
Total Funding Goal: $14,724
[article source: globalgiving.org]