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Elena, our project leader in St Petersburg, reports on how the young people are gradually growing in confidence, thanks to your help.
“Teenagers in children’s homes feel very stable and untroubled. They are still relying on the social teachers to look after them while they study at college or technical college, where they will live in orphan’s centre, and independent life is still far off for them. But the young people in the final year at college are in a completely different state of panic and confusion. Until this point they haven’t thought of asking for help, because everything seemed to happen “of its own accord”. Many of the young people find it very difficult to work out what they feel and what they need, and the future is unknown and fearful to them. Understanding “what stage in life I am at” has become an important theme in the training sessions.
Boris said, “When I imagine my life, I can’t see what is next to me and where my place is. It’s frightening to think about what’s next”.
Alexander: “ I have several paths, but they are all mixed up inside me when I have to make a choice, because no-one is going to choose for me. “
In January we held three meetings and led one outing with 12 young people from the top classes in children’s homes or who have recently left the orphanage. Two volunteer families from our club for parents who grew up in orphanages also took part.
We invited our young people to a festival of kind art called “A Happy Postcard. From heart to heart – sent from person to person” in order to support our young people and to show them that their situation in life is dependent on choices and decisions rather than on the punishment of fate, and that you can learn from this as an adult. The young people took part in open master classes with professional artists, were taken round the gallery of contemporary art, and open exhibitions, in which the young people saw art work by children from other children’s homes amongst creative work of artists and photographers from around the world.
It was a revelation to them that “complete strangers can be kind to me”, and that, “I can do something with people I don’t know”. Natasha said, “I didn’t expect that someone from a children’s home could draw as well as a child from a family”.”
Please help us continue to support these fearful orphans, so that they can look forward to a positive future.