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 comprehen...
Nov 3, 2015

PROJECT'S NEWS

KIRILL
KIRILL

Dear friends,

After several months we are happy again to share the MAMA+ Project achievements as well as the latest news with you.

Last time, we told you a story of a mother and her daughter (Ksenia and Dasha) who had to move to St. Petersburg. It is great that everything is getting better step by step in this small family, and we are grateful to you for supporting the MAMA+ project. 
Ksenia and Daria appreciate the project staff members for their assistance in the difficult life situation. MAMA+ staff assisted the woman in renting housing and contacting a partner government social services center locally, where she was supported in paperwork for having her child enrolled in a kindergarten. Unfortunately, placing an HIV-positive child in an ordinary kindergarten is still a problem. DTC helped Ksenia register for children’s allowances and receive a confirmation of her child’s disability status in St. Petersburg. The woman and her daughter visited the MAMA+ Center: Ksenia was in care of the project psychologist. In early October, Dasha began to attend a government kindergarten, and her mother was able to find employment. We are glad to know that, and we are wishing Dasha good health.

We are happy when we are able to support a family in a difficult life situation, change public attitudes related to HIV-positive children and adults, and obtain justice.

Today we are going to tell you a story about Eugenia and her son Kirill who are currently on active assistance of the MAMA+ project.

Eugenia, 36 years old, and Kirill, 8 months old.

In February 2015, a long-awaited child Kirill was born in the family of Eugenia and Maksim. Both parents have history of using drugs and being in conflict with the law. However, by the moment of Kirill’s birth they had been in remission for over five years (both parents are HIV-positive). Maksim was employed, and the family was renting a room in a communal apartment. The parents prepared everything for the baby: furniture, clothes, and toys. During her pregnancy, Eugenia visited the AIDS Center where she was told about the MAMA+ Center, and was taking the therapy.

When their baby was 4 months old, Maksim was made redundant at work, and the financial status of the family deteriorated. The family faced the lack of funds to buy baby formula for Kirill. Eugenia contacted MAMA+ staff for assistance. The project began to support the mother and her child, providing them with assistance in purchasing baby formula and diapers. At home visits, MAMA+ staff trained the woman on child care and development issues. They made the woman realize the importance of taking care of her child’s health status, and arranged a consultation with a neurologist for the boy. The doctor prescribed physical therapy and additional examinations and tests for Kirill. The boy’s mother complied all recommendations given by doctors. At five months, the boy experienced the first seizure (severe spasms)… he was placed in a hospital where he was diagnosed West syndrome (epilepsy at early age). Kirill spent almost a month in the hospital, and the doctors took pains to stop the seizures, using superpotent medication. Nobody knows what is in store for the baby, and the doctors refrain from making any prognosis. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: the boy should be under continuous medical monitoring and take a course of expensive medicaments. The project staff continue to provide the family with psychosocial support, assisting them at every stage of resolving the problem.

Now the boy needs a qualified epileptologist, who would assist him over the continuous period of treatment. The treatment and diagnostics are very costly. One of the required medicaments costs over 8 thousand roubles ($130).

Together with Eugenia, we hope for the best.

MAMA+ staff will continue to support the woman and her child. And we kindly ask you to support the MAMA+ Project.

Oct 20, 2015

We are happy to share our latest news with you

Dear Friends,

We are happy to update you on the progress of Doctors to Children’s Foster Family Project. 

The summer passed… That was the time when the majority of our clients left for sanatoriums, children’s recreation camps, and dachas, to gain strength before the new academic year. The project activities did not stop in the summertime.  We continued to provide psychosocial services to foster families; the project staff provided consultations to potential foster parents willing to take children to their families. Over the summer months, we were receiving phone calls and questionnaires from potential parents, interviewed and recruited potential trainees for the autumn School for Foster Parents. In September, at long last, the regular SFP training cycle took place. The School was attended by 12 persons, and we hope that the majority of them will take children from institutions.

On September 20, 2015, DTC hosted a meeting of the Club of Foster Families.

The meeting was attended by Vera, a wonderful young artist. Vera conducted a workshop for the children and parents: the guests were engaged in an unusual applique work – they were offered to make a paper cat using old newspapers and magazines. Despite fulfilling one and the same task, the children made completely different paper cats. Each artist brought their specific character and mood to the craftwork: some cats looked joyful; some looked mysterious. The meeting culminated in tea and table games.
The Club of Foster Families is an important component of work with families. At the club meetings, mothers and fathers can share their successes and challenges with one another and with the project staff, while their children can play and talk to their counterparts.

We are grateful to everybody for supporting our activities. We are sure that children should grow in families!

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
 
   

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