What’s the problem?
Young people are often told when they are growing up in an orphanage that it is inevitable that they will repeat their parents’ mistakes and fail when they have children of their own. We don’t believe this. We do know that without the right help, parents who grew up in orphanages can find it very difficult to bond with their baby and to meet their children’s practical and emotional needs. But with the right support we have seen many families blossom.
How do we help?
St Gregory’s supports the Sunflower Centre in St Petersburg, which aims to make sure that fewer children are abandoned and are able to live happy, safe lives in the community.
Around thirty families attend their weekly group sessions with group counselling for the parents and play and art activities for the whole family. Families with particular needs are offered individual counselling or home visits. Each year, some of their families attend a summer camp in the Russian countryside, where they can work intensively on their parenting skills, as well as having fun.
These activities help families communicate and strengthen their relationships. The children become happier, physically healthier, and their whole development benefits.