St Gregory's Foundation

St Gregory's Foundation works in Russia and the former Soviet Union to tackle the social problems facing children, teenagers, parents and carers. Our projects address the root causes of disadvantage by putting families before institutions, strengthening a sense of responsibility in young and old alike and providing opportunities for vulnerable people to fulfill their potential. Our work makes our beneficiaries active participants in improving their own lives and encourages a more charitable society.
Mar 11, 2015

Thank you for helping orphans overcome fear

Galya
Galya

You've been helping us support young people who are about to take the big step from living in the Russian children's home system to living independently.  Galya is one of the extraordinary people who make this programme possible.  She grew up in a St Petersburg orphanage some time ago and now has three children with her parter.  We have known Galya for several years through our families support group and invited her to speak to our group of young people preparing for independent life.  

During the session Galya talked about how scared she had felt when she first left the children's home.  This struck a chord with the group and they were able to share their own feelings of fear.  It was a great surprise to them that everyone in the group felt the same.  Olga (aged 21) said, "I thought that I was the only one, but now I can see how scared I am even to find out how other people live after the children's home."  Galya shared with them her own experience of overcoming this fear with the help of our support group, and explained how they can use the meetings to change their situation in practical ways.

We are very proud of Galya for not only overcoming her own problems, but for her desire to help others.  She really puts her finger on what they need:

"The guys usually don't want to think about the future, but when I told them about myself and my past, I noticed that they were scared, surprised and delighted.  I can see myself in them, they remind me of my childhood and I would like to help them.  They are given a lot that we didn't have when they leave the children's home [she means welfare payments and free training courses etc], but that doesn't change anything, it doesn't make them any more happy or successful, because they don't know how to use these benefits.  They are terrified that people will con them.  I can see that they want to study and work, but they don't know how to start."

We aim to give our group the starting points they need to grow in confidence and change their lives.  Through your support we are helping our young people recognise their talents and discover new ones.  In the children's home, they will all have done some craft activities and some are quite talented, so we took them to meet stained glass artists to talk about their work.  In the last few months, we also invited our young people to a joint party with our family support group.  We were so glad they came because in the past they have said they can't stand young children.  There was such a friendly atmosphere that everyone got on well together.  Taras particularly enjoyed playing with the children and making up games for them.  Afterwards, he said, "I always thought that I was rubbish with small children, but playing with the kids today helped me see how easy it is."

Please help us build on these promising steps so our young people can find work and prepare for the day when they have their own family.  If you'd like to see your donation go further than usual, you can donate on Wednesday 18th March, when Global Giving will be adding 30% to donations (NB this is not available to UK donors donating via globalgiving.co.uk).  Please e-mail Sarah Gale (sarah.sgf@live.com) if you would like a reminder just before bonus day.

Taras playing with children at our party
Taras playing with children at our party
Jan 12, 2015

Thanks for our New Year feast for homeless teens!

Preparing Gozinaki
Preparing Gozinaki

In Georgia it is New Year that is celebrated first and foremost  and Christmas is more a religious celebration.  Over 24 hours from New Years Eve to New Years Day we laid on a fantastic feast for our residents and other teenagers we have helped in the past, or who are still homeless.  Thanks to your generosity and local donors we were able to feed a magnificent 45 young people.

Georgia is famous for its wonderful food and we put on a menu of highlights for the feast.  We prepared Satsivi (a Georgian dish of  turkey in walnut sauce) Gozinaki(Roasted walnuts covered with honey), red and green Pkhali (a Georgian vegetable dish), chicken salad, Olivia  salad, Khachapuri (cheese pie), Lobiani (beans), cake, sweets and  fruits.

The Georgian style is to set all the dishes out on the table (except the cake and sweets that are brought later) and people help themselves as they please. There is also fresh bread which is used to dip in the sauces.

It is really wonderful that we were able to give so many of our young people a New Year to remember.  Thank you so much for bringing a little warmth at this festive time of year.

If you're tempted to try your hand at making some of this delicious Georgian food yourself, you can find recipes online and we've given you a link to a handy website below.

Links:

Dec 23, 2014

Hurrah! We've reached our fundraising target

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our project over the last few years.  Your generosity has helped us to reach our fundraising target early.  This means that we will be able to provide support to toddlers with hearing problems and their families right through 2015.

Thanks to you, 30 todders will receive music therapy and speech therapy to help them tune into the world around them.  They will be able to play and socialise in a supportive environment, which helps them develop as rounded characters.  Their parents will have a source of information about treatments and therapies available, helping them make their own decisions about what is best for their children.  They will also gain strength and confidence from contact with other parents in similar situations.

This is our final report about the Club through Global Giving, but it isn't the only way to keep in touch. 

St Gregory's Foundation runs a range of projects to help disabled and otherwise disadvantaged children and young people in Russia and the former Soviet Union.  You can find out about the other projects we have listed on Global Giving here: www.globalgiving.org/donate/4427/st-gregorys-foundation/.

Do let me know if you would like to hear news from our Club for Hearing Impaired Toddlers through 2015 and see how your donation has helped.  My e-mail address is sarah.sgf@live.com.

Thank you once again.  I wish you all a very happy festive season.

Links:

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