When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, its shaky orphan-care system also fell. Alcohol consumption increased to 10 times the U.S. level. The instances of divorce also climbed, along with the HIV-infection rate, which is now one of the highest in the world. Currently, there are over 750,000 children in the orphanage system and hundreds of thousands more living in the streets. The goal of Orphan Outreach in Russia is to involve and empower local churches to care for orphans. The ministry focus is on orphan graduates who are leaving the orphanage system. Orphan Outreach provides support and brings mission teams to several orphanages in Russia. Read below to learn more about our primary programs.
Orphan Outreach has seen the tremendous needs of orphan graduates in Russia. These children have to leave the orphanage at age 15 to 18 and have very little hope for a successful future. There is usually one social worker for all of the children in the orphanage (80-125 children). There is no possible way for the social worker to meet the needs of all of these children, especially the significant needs of those who are about to graduate.
Most of the children leave the orphanage and end up in drugs, prison or commit suicide. They have no one to help them find a place to live, encourage and support them through school or teach them how to function independently. Orphan Outreach began its orphan graduate program in January of 2009. Our graduate program starts with graduates who will be leaving the orphanage within a year. The case manager helps them to learn how to live independently, find a place to live or transition to a vocational school or university. This social worker also maintains a close relationship with those children who have graduated and encourages and supports them as they go through this difficult transition. We also involve the local church in mentoring these children and giving them the hope of the Gospel. Our desire is for each of these graduates to know Christ personally and to have the support of the church before they leave the orphanage as well as once they are on their own.
Our goal is to develop a model program in partnership with the Leningrad Ministry of Education which can be duplicated at other orphanages. Our desire is to hire more Christian social workers and get the local church involved in supporting and mentoring these children to become successful, hopeful and faith-filled individuals who can become productive members of society and support their own families.
Orphan Outreach also supports these graduates through our sponsorship program.
Orphanage Improvements and Urgent Needs Assistance
Orphan Outreach also provides the financial resources to meet the urgent needs of the orphanages and renovate their buildings to provide better care for the children. This includes repairing windows, floors, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and many other projects. It also helps provide for urgent needs like medicine, clothing, hygiene items, diapers, school supplies and medical equipment. The list of urgent needs never ends for these children and many times we are the only source of help for the directors of the orphanages.
You Can Get Involved
Travel on a Mission Trip
Your commitment to travel with Orphan Outreach allows the children we serve to know they are not forgotten. In ministering to these children you become the hands and feet of Christ and profoundly impact their lives as well as your own.