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...
Mar 19, 2013

Helpful experience for the MAMA+ clients

Lera
Lera

Valeria (27 years old, City of St. Petersburg)
 
Valeria (Lera) was screened by Lyudmila Morozova, MAMA+ social worker, at one of St. Petersburg maternity hospitals. The woman confided that she had been using drugs. Her daughter Rita was born prematurely and transferred to a city children’s hospital. While in maternity hospital, Lera decided to abdicate her child, facing financial instability and receiving no support from her family members.

That time, she was living with her partner Andrey (Rita’s father). He had no permanent employment and was using drugs from time to time. He did not want a child. Her sister stopped any contacts with her after learning that Lera had began to use drugs and had HIV. Lera’s mother is an alcoholic. Her father died when she was 10.

When first contacted by MAMA+, Lera was emotionally unstable. She told about her problems which made her decide to abandon her child. The woman was offered psychological support and motivated to attend a substance abuse specialist. The project psychologist and social worker helped Lera realize she was willing to take her daughter back. Together with the project staff, Lera was visiting Rita in the hospital, bringing milk formula, diapers, and other this for the girl, and meeting with medical staff.

Meanwhile, MAMA+ staff members were working with Lera to develop parental model, as well as with her relatives to motivate them to take Rita to the family.

Lera took her daughter from the hospital. MAMA+ social worker assisted her in registering the girl with the Pediatrics Department of the City AIDS Center and the district children’s outpatient clinic. Lera hopes that the girl will remain healthy, because she was receiving preventive therapy during her pregnancy and delivery.

Together with her child, Lera visits the MAMA+ Daycare Center for consultations, parenting skills training, and peer support. The project social worker assisted the woman in obtaining children’s allowances.

The project interventions enabled Lera to stabilize her motional status and raise her self-esteem. Also, the woman obtained basic parenting skills. Due to the project support, she was able to improve relationships with her mother and sister.

She takes care of her daughter and loves her much. She wonders how she could abandon her child. Rita is now four months old. She is gaining weight, with first upper teeth appearing. The girl is growing up and developing very fast. Lera wants to get education and find a job to provide her daughter with everything she needs.

We hope everything will be alright with this family. But now both Lera and her daughter are in need of professional assistance and your support. We would like to thank you again for this opportunity to help children!

Rita
Rita
Jan 22, 2013

New Year Party for Foster Children

Dear friends,
Thanks to your donations, over the last months we have been able to organize a wonderful Christmas party for 30 foster children.
The Samoilov Actors Memorial Museum hosted a wonderful performance inspired by Pushkin’s fairy tales. The event was organized by Doctors to Children for children from the Foster Family Project. Every child had an opportunity to participate in the show as one of fairy-tale characters. Of course, there are no New Year holidays without presents – the Father Frost and the Snow Maiden tried to fulfill the children’s dearest wishes.
The event culminated in the traditional tea, cakes and pies for children and their parents.
Volunteer photographers were trying to catch the most joyful and brightest moments of the show and offered the kids to take part in a real photo session.
This is due to your participation and care that we were able to organize this wonderful New Year holiday for Foster Family Project clients.
On behalf of our clients and their foster children, We thank you all once more for your generous support. Doctors to Children looks forward to sharing more news from the Foster Family Project.

Best wishes,
Doctors to Children,
The Foster Family Project team

Dec 17, 2012

MAMA+ project results

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce that the MAMA+ Project has already raised more than $10,000 on the Global Giving site. It means that we have achieved our goal: thanks to your donations we have provided support to 100 HIV-affected babies in St. Petersburg since the beginning of the year.

We are very grateful to all people for their donations and for helping us to disseminate the information! Due to your participation HIV+ women and their young children are provided with child care supplies and milk formula, as well as psychological and social support. These reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission and increase the chances for the babies to stay in their birth families.

Thanks to your support DTC runs the MAMA+ Center that provides daycare services to 15 children under three years of age. It also hosts group and individual counseling sessions for women, their partners and other relatives on HIV, child development, parenting, child nutrition and other issues. Many women supported by MAMA+ staff have made remarkable progress as witnessed by the following client story.

________________________________________________________

Irina

Irina came to St. Petersburg from Norilsk, North Russia, shortly after finishing school. She entered the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State University, and was doing well at first. Soon, she first tried drugs, and became so involved with it that she had to forget about her studies. The girl was expelled from the university. A former university student, she was convicted and imprisoned for the possession and use of drugs. In prison, Irina learned that she was HIV-positive.

Shortly after her release from prison, Irina got pregnant. When she gave birth to a child in May 2012, she found herself alone with no housing and no livelihood. In the maternity hospital, Irina was first encountered with MAMA+.

The project staff provided Irina and her little son Misha with temporary housing by placing them in a Halfway House. Due to the project support, Irina obtained an official status of a homeless person and registered for children’s allowances. MAMA+ psychologist helped her manage her drug-related problems, and she has been in remission for a long time now.

Irina began to visit the MAMA+ Counseling and Daycare Center regularly, participating in sessions of the School for Young Mothers where she obtained parenting skills and learned about the specifics of infant development. Little Misha was regularly brought to the MAMA+ Center, where he was examined by a pediatrician. MAMA+ psychologist and a recreational activities specialist engaged the boy in psychomotor developmental sessions and other activities to strengthen emotional contact between the mother and the son.

To date, Irina has found employment, which has enabled her to rent a room in a communal apartment and provide for herself and her baby. Irina and Misha continue to visit the MAMA+ Center, and the girl is making her first steps as a volunteer, assisting new MAMA+ clients to overcome difficulties and regain self-esteem.

________________________________________________________

Due to your assistance, we hope to continue MAMA+ Project implementation next year. In 2012, we expect to raise $10,000 for supporting 100 HIV-affected children.

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best, so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.

We will keep you informed about our work, providing you with our regular reports. You will know what your donation has helped fund, what accomplishments we have achieved and what our current needs are.

 

Best wishes,

Doctors to Children,

The MAMA+ Project team

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