Helping Russian Orphans

Global Voices Online
Friday, April 21, 2006

On March 19, a group of wonderful, kind people from Moscow took presents acquired on donations from ordinary Muscovites to an orphanage in Ivanovo, home to 122 children (o to 4 years old), most of whom have various disabilities.

The effort - one of the many - was coordinated online by LJ user murashki; LJ users onepamop and drugoi were taking pictures.

onepamop wrote this at the end of his photo entry (RUS):

[...] The orphanage, of course, doesn't make you feel like you're on holiday, but this one leaves you with a feeling that resembles certainty. Everything around us was so solid, trustworthy. The rooms were clean, the children were asleep in clean beds, they had enough toys, and in short, their everyday lives were more or less stable. As for the rest of it, it's clear right away that the children are loved and taken care of here. You know, I'd establish an award specifically for people like the chief doctor in Ivanovo. A homeland service award. And I wouldn't spare precious stones and gold for it. So that everyone saw and bowed down to this person. But - such people refuse to wear medals...

And this is how drugoi concluded his photo post (RUS):

Thanks a lot to all who helped collect stuff for the Orphanage, thanks to murashki (on the photo, with children) for organizing the campaign and our trip there. Be assured - the children there are growing up in the atmosphere of love, compassion and warmth.


LJ user murashki has recently posted some really inspiring and informative recommendations (RUS, illustrated) to those who would like to help Russian orphans but aren't sure how:

how to help orphanages.....???????
it's no different from doing other things...
you have to "switch on your brains".......
and be self-reliant

those who want to help but think that their participation with 100 rubles [$3.6] will be very insignificant are deeply mistaken


Medicines, clothes, diapers, furniture and other costly things are, of course, very important. But if you buy some trifle, a toy, a nice pencil, a pencil case, a doll's bag, soap bubbles, a hair holder, children's bracelets, beautiful stickers and other small things - believe me - kids would find it very, very nice. These trifles are totally normal for children with a home, but for those from an orphanage they're a luxury.

Just start looking in the stores. Keep buying a little - and then you'll find there're enough gifts to be taken to the children.


There isn't just one orphanage, there are many and there are a few groups in each. So you shouldn't be afraid to buy several things that are the same.

In Ashan [Moscow shopping mall], for example, they sell charming toy bags for girls for 25 rubles [$0.91], red chests to store makeup with pictures on them for 25 rubles. Buy one chest like this, buy a bracelet and hair holders (16 rubles [$0.58]), or a kids' brooch, and a necklace, and put it into the chest. It'll be a wonderful present for some girl.

It's more complicated with boys, but not much more complicated. Stickers with cars. Pencil cases, pencils, badges.

It's very important for a child to have some trifle - not something that he has to share with others, but his own. Even though in orphanages children still share all toys with each other.

In Rybinsk, for example, 5-year-old children kept running up to me one after another to show me their personal photo albums, given to them by visitors: here we are walking with our teacher, and here we are with the guests, and here are the two of us. The simplest albums cost 30-40 rubles [$1.09-$1.45]. I was taking pictures, too, and then I sent their photos to them for such personal albums.


Use your imagination, friends - children will appreciate this.

Of course, the ideal thing to do for them wouldn't be buying material presents but holding a party. That's a lot more difficult, though.

Here are the first comments to this post (RUS):

aromanta: It's not hard to buy - but how and where to deliver it?

vorona24: Here's our site, for example:

You buy something, then write us, and we send someone to you and they take it away - this is ONE way.
Here's ANOTHER: you write us that you want to join us on one of our trips, that you've bought something and would like to deliver it personally. A trip is announced, you join either as a passenger or in your own car ))

That's how easy it is ))

In Moscow, by the way, there's a large number of groups that help orphanages. there are groups and there are funds.

aromanta: thank you!

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