Our colleagues at Sunflower in St Petersburg have a fantastic record working with young people who have grown up in children’s homes. With their support, the young people learn to understand and manage their emotions, to plan and take responsible decisions, and to develop healthy, trusting relationships. This takes time. The young people have complex needs having experienced a life-time of trauma. Several have run away from their chidren’s home before. Several are addicted to solvent abuse or have criminal records. Many of them have physical and/ or mental health problems. Vadim, aged 19, is one of the newcomers to Sunflower’s support programme. He has yet to fully trust the staff and his peers, but this lad who others were unable to help, is engaged and motivated to change.
Our newsletter is out now with stories from Moscow, St Petersburg, Kondopoga and Tbilisi. To celebrate our 30th anniversary we look back and appreciate how far we’ve come. We take stock of the extraordinary present day and look ahead to future plans. Dive in, and join our efforts to create a brighter future for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our regions.
Recently, our colleagues in St Petersburg held a wonderful sports day for children with complex disabilities. Everyone was able to take part, whether they were standing on their head, or bashing the punchbag. The physios running the day were using a framework set up by the Special Olympics, which allows everyone to learn new skills and enjoy sport, even if they find it difficult to compete in a specific sport.
The pandemic noticeably worsened the working conditions in Georgia, as it did in the whole world. The majority of companies started working from home and now they don’t use many printers – we lost a lot of orders for fixing or changing cartridges. Our other small business – a car repair shop – continues to work, but only with a limited capacity: the prices of fuel have drastically increased and there-fore people are driving less. Many young people lost their jobs. Regular work remained only for those who worked at grocery stores and supermarkets and perhaps as street cleaners.Continue reading Life at Mkurnali’s homeless shelter – Tbilisi
Last year after the schools in Kondopoga were closed due to quarantine, and the curriculum was supplemented with online teaching. No children from poor families could join as they did not have access to computers or internet. This made studying very hard for them. The Parish stepped in to help these children in their education and with St Gregory’s support they bought two laptops and hosted online classes which children could attend at the Parish House.Continue reading Kondopoga responds to the pandemic