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.
Jul 20, 2014

Beso's operation a success thanks to you!

Beso after his stitches were taken out
Beso after his stitches were taken out

You will be glad to hear that, thanks to your help, Beso has had his operation to repair his intestines.  Indeed he has just had his stitches out and is fully recovered.  Beso asked me to convey to you many thanks. He is very happy that he can live a normal life and return to life's usual rhythm.

The operation had to be delayed for a few days because Beso’s intestines were in a worse state than expected.  Fortunately, the exercises he was given to do did their job of preparing him for his re-scheduled appointment.  The operation itself took six hours, which was also longer than anyone expected.

Since he was released from hospital, Beso has been recuperating with his sister-in-law and helping her look after her children while his brother works abroad.  He has even been able to go back to work, although he is taking it a little easy to start with.  He is very relieved that his health problems are behind him and glad that he has the chance to work and to help his sister in law.

Thank you to everyone who has helped this hard-working young man get back on his feet.  Each year we help many young people who, like Beso, have had a hard start in life including experiencing homelessness.  We help them to join a training programme or find work and, if possible, reunite with their family.  During this process we provide a home to those who need it and the Global Giving community generously helps us feed our young residents.  If you are curious and would like to find out more, you can visit our project page or contact Sarah Gale (sarah.sgf@live.com).

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Jul 2, 2014

A brilliant birthday for heaing-impaired toddler

Happy Birthday Savva!
Happy Birthday Savva!

We have just had a wonderful event at our club, Savva's birthday!  He has just turned two.  Savva came to our club with his mom when he still couldn't walk on his own.  Now he is very active.  He runs around, climbs on the slide, plays ball, and much more besides.  He has learnt how to play with other children and adults, which gives him a lot of pleasure.  Savva has learnt how to say words and uses speech with his mom, our teachers and the children.

Savva has a fantastic mom! She is very sensitive to his needs and understands him.  She helps him to learn to talk, to recognise and distinguish the sounds around him.  She also chats to the other parents and children at the club and helps them.  

We celebrated Savva's birthday altogether at the club.  We made him a present, sang songs, and put on a puppet show.  Savva and the other children watched the show avidly.  They joined in with the hero's actions.  

We are delighted to see Savva becoming a happy, sociable and communicative little boy in spite of his hearing impairment.  We are looking forward to seeing him and the other children and their parents at our club in September, but now we break for the summer holidays.  Thank you for all your help through this year.  You're giving Savva and his friends the priceless gift of self-expression.

Savva and his mom.
Savva and his mom.
Jul 2, 2014

16-year-old breadwinner saved from prison

Beso feeling well after his stitches were removed
Beso feeling well after his stitches were removed

In our last report we told you about Beso, one of our residents, who urgently needed an operation to repair his intestines.  Thanks to the generosity of the Global Giving community he has had the operation, the stitches are out and Beso is no longer in pain.  Beso is very grateful to everyone who helped him and is very happy that he can lead a normal life again.

Now I'd like to tell you about Temuri, one of our newest residents. Temuri is 16 years old from a financially unstable, large family. Unfortunately his father passed away and Temuri lives with 6 brothers and sisters and is looked after by his grandmother. They live in a 12m² basement. Temuri works as a bread baker and he is the sole breadwinner. He works from 8am to 9pm; despite the work hours he comes back home and learns school material which after a month he passes with distinction. He is learning in a village school near Tbilisi where they made an exception for him.

In May when he was coming back from work he met two acquaintances, who started to laugh at him because of his old phone. As he said: " I don't know what happened to me, I got very angry and punched both of them and took the phone from the guy who was showing of his new phone to teach him a lesson and went back home.  After a short while the police came knocking on my door and told me that if I gave the phone back I wouldn't get into trouble and so I gave the phone back.' After this the police arrested him for theft category 3.

Temuri's friends contacted us, because we knew them; he lives near our old Mkurnali house. Here our legal program came into action. We started working on this case straight away and asked the court to not arrest him. But they told us straight away that they couldn't help because the crime was very serious and it meant 5 to 9 years in prison and also there was a new order from parliament saying underage crime should be dealt with stricter because too much leniency went to their heads. Afterwards we wrote a document signed by our founder, Father George, to the judge of the court. In the document we wrote about the social instability of the boy's family and his love for hard work.

The judge recognised the authority of Father George and the court set him free with a suspended sentence for 5 years.  Thanks to your generosity helping us to buy food, this is not the end of Temuri's journey with us.  He has moved into our shelter, where he can continue working and studying while we help him overcome his problems and build a more stable life.Thank you for your part in giving Temuri a second chance.

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