A ten-year-old boy Roma was put into a social rehabilitation center in times of need for his family. Together with his parents and a four-year-old sister, the boy lives in a rural area in Smolensk region, where there is no stable job for adults. The family survives on part-time jobs and thanks to their meager household. The parents placed Roma in an extended daycare group at a social center, so that after school classes, the son was under the supervision of teachers, could have meals and ride a school bus free of charge. In the evenings, by verbal agreement between the parents and the center management, the boy returned home.
That was not a problem until the entire world went into self-isolation due to COVID and the social rehabilitation center closed the doors for the children who lived in it, and at the same time for Roma, who did not live in the center. It appeared that the children were not allowed to leave the institution and the parents were not allowed to see their children, even outside. All, the parents knew, was that the situation, as if under siege, could last until November.
In no time, the stressful situation affected Roma's behavior. Suddenly being cut off from his family, he did not know how to express his fear and protest. Hidden negative emotions quickly found a way out in the boy's aggressive behavior.
Alexandra, Roma's mother, is a modest, quiet woman. A few times she tried her best to convince the social center management to return Roma home, but to no avail, which made her feel even more helpless. In addition, the center stuff dropped hints that the family would not be able to get Roma ready for school by the beginning of the school year without their support: the boy needs a school uniform, shoes, sportswear, backpack, school supplies. Truly speaking, the family did not have the money for the purchases.
In desperation, the woman approached Our Children Fund with a request to assist in returning her son back to the family.
The Fund's psychologists provided Alexandra with a psychological assistance as it was important to overcome guilt and strengthen her parental responsibility. Legal consultations also helped Alexandra to muster up her strength to be firm when communicating with the social rehabilitation center management and to defend her position.
The fund provided the family with clothes for Roma and at the end of September, the family received a laptop for temporary use in case of distance learning and for Roma’s current homework, which is often asked at school to be done on a computer.
Now Roma is with his parents and sister. The Fund continues patronizing the family, primarily, by providing consultations from specialists who help Roma's parents to believe in themselves and become stronger.
Families in difficult life situations live next to us. It is important to help them on time and correctly, so that children in times of crisis for the family stay together with their nearest and loved ones; to prevent troubles so that the family would be able to raise children on its own.
The impact of our professional support for families is that children do not join the ranks of orphans with living parents, when their parents are willing and able to raise them.
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