St.Petersburg-based non-governmental organization 'Doctors to Children'

DTC's mission is to protect the rights of at-risk children and families, and provide them with access to quality social, psychological and medical services. DTC's goals include: (1) Forming policies and public opinion around the issues of at-risk children and families, (2) Decreasing the number of neglected and abandoned children and at-risk children and families through prevention and multidisciplinary interventions, and (3) Providing access to high-quality medical, social and psychological care to at-risk children and families. To achieve these goals, DTC employs the following strategies: (1) Advocating for the rights of at-risk children and families; (2) Providing direct comprehensive ass...
Jul 31, 2015

We are happy to share the news on the "MAMA+"

volunteer of the cosmetics brand
volunteer of the cosmetics brand

Dear Friends,

We are happy to share the news on the MAMA+ project!

International Children’s Day
On June 1 and 5, volunteers of the cosmetics brand MAC owned by Estee Lauder Corporation participated in a holiday conducted by Doctors to Children on occasion of celebrating the International Children’s Day. On June 1, the holiday was hosted by the Crisis Center for Women. On June 5, the guests visited the MAMA+ Center. Such actions have become our good tradition: every year, MAC staff members conduct bright events for HIV-affected women and children.

This time, MAC makeup designers told the mothers about the makeup specifics, new brand products, and engaged them in a makeup session. DTC’s young clients were also engaged in the action: the babies were gifted feeding bottles, and the older children were given coloring books and markers. The holiday culminated in a short photo session, MAC gifts giving ceremony, and tea. Due to participation of MAC professionals, this day turned to a true holiday of beauty for DTC’s clients.

The International Children’s Day was officially established by the Congress of the International Women’s Democratic Federation in 1949. It aims to raise public awareness of the problems faced by children all over the world.

Today we would like to tell you a story of a woman recently enrolled in the MAMA+ Project

Ksenia, 30, and her daughter Daria (Dasha), 5.

Both are HIV-positive.
Together with her daughter, Ksenia arrived in St. Petersburg for permanent residence from another city where she had been assisted by staff of DTC’s partner organization (DTC has been disseminating its best practices of assisting HIV-positive women and children in other regions of Russia through training service providers working with women and children).

Background. Ksenia learned about her HIV status when she was pregnant. The prevention therapy turned out to be ineffective. Right after birth, her daughter was tested positive. When Dasha was one month old, she was registered with the AIDS Center. Ksenia says she contracted HIV from her husband, a citizen of Uzbekistan, who had experience of using drugs. When Dasha was three months, he left the family. The woman found herself alone to raise her child: her mother had died; her aunt living in the same city stopped contacts with her having learned about her diagnosis.
Before Ksenia enrolled in the MAMA+ Project, her and her daughter’s diagnosis was disclosed at her workplace: staff of the local AIDS Center made a phone call to Ksenia’s office and told her colleagues that she and her child were HIV-positive. The woman lost everything: job, friends... But she also lost confidence in the AIDS Center staff. Over two years, the child’s health status was getting worse and finally became critical. In despair, Ksenia tried to save her daughter on her own. She browsed Internet and found information about the Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital in Ust-Izhora (near St. Petersburg). Spending her last money, she went there with her child without any referrals. Both were accepted. Under stress, her own health status worsened, and she was prescribed continuous ARV therapy.
Over three years, Ksenia and Dasha were visiting St. Petersburg for treatment and lab tests. Their health status stabilized gradually. The viral load decreased.

It was a difficult decision for Ksenia to move to St. Petersburg for permanent residence. She was limited in financial resources, had no permanent employment, no other sources of support except for DTC’s assistance.

Ksenia contacted MAMA+ for psychological and social assistance. The project staff members helped her with her child’s enrollment in a pre-school educational institution, so that she could find employment (enrollment of an HIV-positive child in a government kindergarten is a serious challenge. DTC was able to agree with a partner organization that the child be taken to a daycare center from 03.00PM to 08.00PM).

The woman is still afraid of disclosing her and her daughter’s diagnosis, which may provoke negative attitudes to Dasha. A true mother, Ksenia takes care of her daughter and is prepared to do everything to make her happy.

Ksenia and Dasha are in need of your support, until the woman finds employment.

Your support is needed by MAMA+ Project clients – HIV-positive women and children. Over the last three months, MAMA+ staff have enrolled 22 women with children.

International Children
International Children's Day
MAMA+Social Worker
MAMA+Social Worker
International Children
International Children's Day
Jul 20, 2015

NEW STORY

Club for Foster Families
Club for Foster Families

Dear Friends,

We would like to share a story of Svetlana, a foster mother. Staff members of DTC’s Foster Family Project first met with her in 2013, and are currently supporting her family.

In spring 2013, Svetlana who had her own children (a 19-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter) completed the School for Foster Parents. In June 2013, she fostered two boys Seryozha and Vanya (both born in 2006). They are not brothers, though almost since their birth they had been together in one group of a babies’ home and then in an orphanage. In a short while, the boys adapted to the new family. Their foster mother accepted them as if they were her own children: she had never seen difference between her own and foster children.

Starting from that moment, the family was taken under active assistance by Doctors to Children’s Foster Family Project. As soon as the boys went to school, their teacher began to complain about their behavior and school performance. DTC’s psychologist, project social worker and neurologist provided the family with consultations. With the developmental delais diagnosed, the boys were recommended to transfer to a special school. But their foster mother refused to change anything, because she could not bring the boys to a ne school on a regular basis. The situation was complicated by the fact that the family was living in Leningrad region, in a town remote from their school. All year of 2014, the project staff continued to provide the family with active assistance, including psychological support and consultations of different specialists, as well as humanitarian aid. The boys’ poor behavior and school performance was still an issue up to their second grade. The woman was worried by that, she totally disagree with the teacher’s opinion. With the project support, Svetlana had numerous meetings with the psychologist; her children were examined by the children’s neurologist and psychiatrist, and were recommended to attend a school with less intensive study load. Due to all these activities, the project staff were able to persuade the foster mother to change her decision.  

Before the woman took her final decision, DTC staff offered her to visit the special school, meet with the teachers, and receive detailed information regarding the organization of the study process. After visiting the special school and meetings with the teacher, the woman confided she regretted having refused to bring her boys there in the previous year.

The project staff members continue to work with the family. In the nearest future, they are planning to organize consultations and sessions for the boys to adjust their emotional sphere, as well as to arrange a repeated neurologist’s consultation for them.

We hope that her wish to resolve the situation in the best interests of her children, along with her cooperation with the project staff, will help Svetlana overcome difficulties, because she has been raising her children without anyone’s assistance.

During the period from May 26 through June 30, 2015, the Foster Family project staff conducted a School for Foster Parents training cycle. This time a total of 9 trainees successfully graduated the School. We hope that these graduates are future foster parents.

Club for Foster Families


On May 16, the project staff facilitated the Club session devoted to the International Day of Families. At this event, DTC clients were joined by representatives of the St. Petersburg Women’s Union. The children and their parents were gifted a wonderful book on the Famous St. Petersburg Dynasties. They were told about famous people of the city, family values and traditions, and difficult times the St. Petersburg families faced during the Great Patriotic War. On their turn, the children prepared a performance for their children and guests: they recited poems, sang songs, and shared their achievements at school. Following the traditional tea party and photo session, each family was given DTC’s presents.

Club for Foster Families
Club for Foster Families
Club for Foster Families
Club for Foster Families
Apr 15, 2015

We are happy to share our latest new

Dear Friends,

We are happy to share our latest news with you: Doctors to Children has got a new home.
DTC moved to a new office located at the following address: 89A Fontanka embankment, Unit 20-N.
For years, we have been dreaming of establishing a child care center which would allow provision of services to survivors of child abuse, HIV-positive women and children, as well as clients of the Foster Family project.
In 2014, the St. Petersburg City Administration provided DTC with a facility for establishing the children’s center. In March 2015, the long-awaited move happened.
This move would be impossible without persistence and patience of DTC staff, support and participation of partners and fellow-thinkers. DTC staff members are extending their gratitude to all who cares for the lives of children.
DTC’s doors are always open for those who need support!
DTC’s new address is 89A Fontanka embankment, Unit 20-N, St. Petersburg, 190031, Russia.

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