"I thought that such miracles could only happen in church, when you stand for a long time looking at an icon - suddenly from somewhere the answer to your question comes to you. That is what happened to me in this group. I come here with a question, I talk and talk, and then, as if from nowhere, I feel that I have been given what I need." Ksenia aged 19.
A few months ago Ksenia was like all the other teenagers in our support group. She was scared and distrustful and would only come to sessions when there was safety in numbers. It's not surprising. Teenagers in the system can be sent to psychiatric clinics when staff find they can't cope with their behaviour.
Now that trust has been built up, the group can't get enough attention. Our colleagues have split them into small groups of three so that they get more individual attention, while still learning to relate better to their peers. Altogether 28 young people have regularly been attending our sessions, and 13 of them have come for individual counselling sessions.
We have noticed that our young people have developed better self-control through this process and are much better at communicating with us and each other. Equally, our work with their teachers has helped them to resolve conflicts better, to listen more, and to understand better the needs and concerns of the young people in their care.
This progress is thanks to your generous support. It takes patience and time to make a breakthrough with deeply troubled young people. We are rewarded by knowing that Ksenia and her friends will benefit from this experience for the rest of their lives.