A number of children in Yelatma Orphanage (Russia) aged 9-17, have learning and/or behavioural difficulties and are not suited to Portage. These children spend their days in a small room sitting or lying on padded mats, ‘guarded’ by an elderly woman who stops them physically harming themselves and makes sure they don’t escape. There is no play equipment and children tend to rock and moan as a form of self-stimulation. Some have their hands tied if they are a risk to themselves or others.
We will recruit and train two care workers and develop a programme of activities for each individual child supervised by a UK qualified Occupational Therapist, refurbish the room providing toys and equipment and create a quiet space for storytelling.
The aim is to give these young people a quality of life, help them interact with and enjoy their surroundings. Some will go on to receive an education. Others will become more independent, learn to make choices, work in the home and feel valued.