Step Up

We work with children and young adults from Moscow orphanages. Our mission is to help every child to learn and develop as a person, overcoming the negatives of an institutionalized past. Step Up is the first organization in Russia which, since 1999, has worked to provide orphans with a quality education, to motivate them to learn. We help graduates of orphanages to complete school, find jobs, pass college/university entrance exams. We provide specific help necessary to overcome the psychological complexes that plague orphans. We enable institutionalized orphans and orphanage graduates to make wise, mature and healthy decisions for their own live. We also work surmount and eventually change...
Jan 19, 2016

Volunteer Winter Camp 2016

Over the course of New Year and the first week of 2016 a group of 20 volunteers from Step Up organized New Year celebrations and a week of developmental activities — the second ever Winter Camp that Step Up has put on the Belskoye Ustye orphanage for mentally and physically disabled children.

The programme included individual presents for all the children, a visit by Father Christmas on New Year's eve and a meal and celebration of the end of 2015 that included all the older children and volunteers.

Other activities included master classes, a Winter Olympics, interactive plays and a final show to coincide with the departure of the volunteers and Orthodox Christmas celebrations on January 7th.

The majority of the volunteers who took part in the Winter Camp had already been to Belskoye Ustye for Summer Camp 2015 but there were several new volunteers who were taking part for the first time. Winter Camp serves a key role cementing relationships between volunteers, children and orphanage workers — and there would otherwise be very little for the children to do over the New Year holidays when the orphanage is run with a skeleton staff.

Oct 20, 2015

Autumn Circus in Belskoye Ustye

At the end of August, a group of 18 volunteers who took part in Summer Camp returned to the orphanage for four days to lead a series of activities and master-classes around the theme of a circus — building on work done at Summer Camp.

The initative for trip came from volunteers, who paid for their own travel and board.

Volunteers put on cooking master-classes, soap-making master-classes, photography master-classes as well arts and crafts master-classes. Groups of children were also selected to take part in special master-classes to prepare for the main event of the trip — a real circus! The circus involved performances by all the kids and volunteers — including clowns, acrobats, animals and other performers! The sports hall of the orphanage was transformed for one day into a big top.

The trip played an important role cementing relationships between volunteers, orphanage staff and children after Summer Camp. At the end of the trip, all the older children and the carers came out to the nearby road to wave the volunteers off: a truly touching moment — and something that they have never done before.

Jul 31, 2015

Volunteer Summer Camp 2015

For most of July, 38 volunteers (from Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom) took part in Step Up's 2015 Summer Camp at the Belskoye Ustye orphanage for mentally and physically disabled children — organising developmental activities, festivals, shows and sporting events for the 70 children who live there.

Using the integration center as a base, volunteers walked every day to the orphanage where they organized a hectic, exciting and engaging three weeks of activities for the children. Volunteers lived in tents and used the facilities of the house to prepare activities, costumes and materials for work with the chidlren.

A series of specialists from Moscow and Saint Petersburg also took part in the Summer Camp, arranging master classes for both volunteers and children. These included sessions on how to work with disabled children with an expert from a local center, a fencing master class, a culinary master class, a radio journalism master class, a DIY master class, and a musical master class conducted by an expert from the Anton Tut Ryadom center for autism in Saint Petersburg.

The Summer Camp was the biggest conducted by Step Up in recent memory and will serve as a template for the development of the integration center.

 
   

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