By Alexandra Shchetkina - GlobalGiving Ambassador Russia
When I first time stepped into the office of "Partnership to every child" I saw lots of portraits on the walls with children faces on them. I wondered who that kids might be. Project leaders told me that there are children with special needs who are under the SHORT BREAKS program. Children in program have more than one mother. You say:" Its not possible!" But it is! Imagine young mother with three kids, one of them has cerebral palsy or Autism or Down Syndrome. Usually women having kids with special needs are bringing up their children alone. These mothers can't go for work or out to buy food, you go for vacation or to see the dentist, because child with cerebral palsy needs his mom all the time, day and night. The family lives in poverty. There is financial support but its not enough to bring up three kids. Its not so rare that mother decide to abandon child with special needs and put him into the orphanage, so she could take care of other children.
That's why this mother needs another cover-mother who could take care of children while first mother working. All cover mothers attend special school for mothers. They learn how to take care of a child with special needs: how to feed or wash him, how to communicate. Child with special needs get used to have two mothers, it expand his environment. For families this unique program is essential, because it allows them to have work or even go for short vacations. It unique program for Russia actually. And it was recognized by Russian Health Department. This is quite a achievement! Maybe in some years all children with special needs all around Russia will stay in their families and have mother one and mother two. And families will no longer live in poverty and misery.
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