S'INSCRIRE A CHRETIENS EN RESEAU
KHABOROVSK, RUSSIA (ANS) — “Imagine the future of a country in which 1 out of every 21 of the inhabitants is currently a child who is an orphan. This is the situation in Russia, where recent Russian media have reported the estimated orphan population at 2 million and the street children at 4 million.” (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicines, Vol 160, No.5 May 2006)
Five year old Dasha was found living with her alcoholic parents in Khaborovsk, Far-East Russia taking on a parenting role, cooking and cleaning, as her parents were deeply addicted to alcohol. Her parents sold the family home to move to a desperately run down house. On moving, the family discovered their new home was already occupied by people who beat them and left them on the streets, homeless and penniless.
|Children are scared, abused, sick, scared and ostracized|
Instead of being left on the streets, the Samuel Children’s Centre (a centre for children and young people living on the streets or in difficult home situations) supported Dasha and helped her to be accepted into a local shelter for homeless children. Her parents were unable to find a way to escape their terrible addiction and remained on the streets. Her mother died from TB complicated by alcoholism. Young Dasha took up residence in the shelter. With the help of the Centre, Dasha built friendships, completed an education and has been able to attend church.
With God’s strength, she has found a way to move forward, to commit to her education and to chose a path that will allow her to live her life in a safe way.
The Samuel Children’s Centre is one of 10 projects supported by ChildAid to Russia and the Republics.
ChildAid is a charity based in United Kingdom. It seeks to transform lives of children in poverty who resort to the street, and support for families who are either forced to “abandon” their children or live in such poverty and despair driven by alcohol and drugs – exposing children to abuse and being sold for prostitution and trafficking. The work is through collaboration with established local Christian partners in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus who seek to improve the quality of life for street children, orphans and children with disabilities, through short and long term aid and development.
|Destitute families who have nothing, resort to the street in Dneprodzerzhinsk, Ukraine. Local Christians seeks to transform their plight through funding support from ChildAid|
Jesus told us that whatever we do for the least of His brothers and sisters, we do for Him (Matthew 25:40). ChildAid’s ministry is one of service to the Lord’s work in providing hope, love and an escape from the desperate spiral of poverty.
Their faith is the motivation for what they do working with all denominations and none. The work that ChildAid undertakes is an unconditional testimony to the example of Jesus Christ and sharing our faith is never a prerequisite for help. As Christians they value partnership and respect other cultures and customs. “…Our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active” 1 John 3:18
It is incredibly difficult to get any concrete statistics on the numbers of children living on the streets or in institutional care in these regions. This is principally down to definition of what actually is a “street child”. If the definition is one where the child has no home, family, institution or the like that they could refer to as their “home” – then they are a “true” street child. In reality there are probably relatively few of these.
|Disability is a stigma - Isle of Hope project in Belarus provides vocational training to bring opportunity for young people|
If, however, the definition extends to include those who may have a home and relation(s) who could be defined as being responsible for them, but, due to the conditions that they have to endure in terms of poverty and abuse they do not attend school, have little clothes and food and spend their days on the streets – then the reality of Russian street children becomes more complete.
For children with disabilities the position is even worse. They are one of the most marginalized and deprived groups in the former Soviet Union. For generations, they were regarded as ‘mistakes’ and locked up in institutions. This legacy remains and it is still common for children with disabilities to be put into orphanages where they receive little or no stimulation or love.
In RUSSIA 3 projects support 14 orphanages, care for street children and abandoned babies, and teach life skills and a life-changing trade to street children. In UKRAINE 3 projects feed street children and care for poor families, teach life skills to orphanage graduates and support foster families caring for homeless children. In MOLDOVA 3 projects care for children with disabilities, and provide free medical treatment to children with chronic long term illnesses. A project in BELARUS has a day centre and residential centre for young adults with disabilities
To maintain and further their mission ChildAid are in desperate need of additional funding – an incredible sum of US$200,000 ! There are amazing testimonies of how our prayers are being answered. Do pray for the disadvantaged children of this media-ignored region. Our Lord does not recognize our Earthly national boundaries, so nor should we. A British charity, ChildAid is reaching out to the World to help transform the lives of children in nations so loved by God but so abandoned by Man. To support ChildAid’s projects of bringing hope to children, please visit their website or send donations to ChildAid, PO Box 200, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1QF, ENGLAND.
Martin Wilcox is Charity Manager at ChildAid to Russia & the Republics. Coming to Christ 6 years ago, he felt a calling to move away from his 20 year career in commerce to working for the Lord’s work with children. ChildAid, founded in 1973 was previously known to Aid to Russia and the Republics, and before then Aid to Russian Christians. To find out more the ChildAid website is : www.childaidrr.org.uk, and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org where you can find out how you can help in prayer and giving.
© ASSIST News service
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