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World Childhood Foundation
World Childhood Foundation Projects in Russia and the Baltic States, January 2001

RUSSIA:

The Lebedeva Prison in St. Petersburg: To improve the harsh living conditions for the young boys (10-18 years) who are held at the Lebedeva prison waiting for their trials. This wait can be very long - several years is not unusual. In order to stimulate the boys and to give them useful skills World Childhood Foundation® will together with the Swedish volunteer organization

Skaraborgshjälpen extend the existing schooling capacity as well as add more subjects. Skaraborgshjälpen is a Swedish NGO which since the beginning of the 1990s has focused efforts and donations on improving the living conditions for the imprisoned children and adolescents at the Lebedeva prison in St. Petersburg. Target group: approximately 800 boys age 10-18

Malookhtinsky House of Diligence: To finance a seminar for the staff of Malookhtinsky on sex education and how to teach it to the girls in their care. These girls are all victims of sexual abuse, in some cases they are homeless and the use of drugs has worsen their social problems. They stay at Malookhtinsky one year during which they get schooling, social training, therapy and health care.

The seminar is organized by Stiftelsen Susanne Westerbergs Minnesfond.

Doctors of the World: Since 1994, Doctors of the World (DOW) has provided critical health services to St. Petersburg's neglected, runaway, orphaned or abandoned children and adolescents. According to UNDP there are approx. 60 000 children at risk and 3 000 - 5 000 street children in St. Petersburg. DOW' s local partners include drop-in centers for street children, children's s shelters, children' s hospitals, and juvenile detention centers. DOW is developing a sustainable system of services to strengthen families, prevent the abuse and abandonment of children, and offer at-risk children and adolescents long-term, progressive alternatives to institutionalization. World Childhood Foundation covers the cost for a pilot project to develop new models for foster care, family care and social support for children at risk.

 

Children' s Hospital No. 15:

Children' s Hospital No. 15 is the only hospital in St. Petersburg admitting street children (aged 3-12 - but younger children are not unusual). The children are often brought to the hospital by the police. All of the children need medical, psychological and social attention. These children are very traumatized and confused about their present situation and their future and need psychological and social care around the clock. World Childhood Foundation' s donation will make it possible for the hospital to employ social workers and teachers to work specifically with the street children. The children will therefore have adult supervision and stimulation also after office hours. Furthermore, there is a responsible adult available to assist the children during the admission process as well as to see to the best of the child when deciding where and how to place the child. World Childhood Foundation' s donation also covers toys, books and other educational equipment as well as medical and food supplies (vitamins). Target group: approx. 300 children

 

Mission Possible: Mission Possible is a Christian organization providing help to street children in Russia. These children are mostly out of reach of other programs. Mission Possible runs a children' s home in Moscow and a farm in Jaroslavl. In St. Petersburg a street patrol distributes food and clothing as well as provides care and contacts with the parents. The children are helped to heal physically and mentally, to recover lost sets of values, and to reintegrate into school and society. Target group: approx. 200 children

 

THE BALTIC STATES

ESTONIA:

Kristet hem i Tartu för barn och ungdom (Christian Home in Tartu for Children and Adolescents): To help street children with housing, supervision and social training. When this home recently moved into new facilities World Childhood Foundation donated new kitchen appliances and furniture. Some children have left the streets and are now living in the home while other children visit daily for food and other assistance. Target group: approximately 100 children and adolescents

The Special School of Kaagvere: To promote physical and psychological rehabilitation and social integration of girls aged 10-17 with behavioral problems. These girls are victims of abuse (mental, physical and sexual), family violence and neglect. At the Special School of Kaagvere the girls are taught through group-therapy how to improve their communication skills - how to solve conflicts, handle anger, increase self-esteem, decrease the reactions of traumatic stress like depression, anxiety and fear, as well as how to form their ethical principles. Tartu Support Center for Abused Children is responsible for the project. The overall goal of this organization is to prevent child abuse and domestic violence in Estonia by raising awareness of the community, providing training of professionals and by counseling and treating abused children and their family members. Target group: 60 girls age 10-17

 

Tallinn Child Support Center: This center provides services such as a night shelter, daytime activities including therapy (both group and family therapy) and problem solving, some education and help with homework for street children and children at risk. These children, who often live under unhealthy conditions without parental care, have many health problems. Through a donation from World Childhood Foundation the children receive professional medical care as well as the necessary medicine. Hopefully, child abuse cases will also be recognized and investigated. Target group: Approx. 25 street children and children at risk and their parents.

 

Sillamäe Culture, Integration and Social Adaptation Center:To organize after-school programs for children/adolescents who are registered at the local police after committing minor crimes and are at risk to be school drop-outs. The supervised activities include classes  "to form the aesthetic values of teenager' s personality", driving lessons, Estonia language classes and computer classes. The classes are organized by the City of Sillamäe. Sillamäe was a closed city during the Soviet occupation and is now part of Estonia. It has a very high unemployment rate. The Russian population has great difficulties to integrate into the Estonian society. Target group: 78 children / adolescents

Home for Street Children in Kohtla-Järve: When this home moved to new facilities World Childhood Foundation donated a TV set, some toys and other needed equipment. Donations from World Childhood Foundation have made it possible for the children living in this home to participate in three different camps. The themes of these camps were "Christian Winter Camp" , "A Member of the Family" (together with support families) and "Citizen Education" . Target group: approx. 60 children

 

Pathfinders: This is an after-school, intervention program for youth at-risk in Tallinn organized by Estonia Children' s Fund. The program is developed to teach children about the benefits of education, to improve self-esteem and decision making capabilities, to provide structured activities as an alternative to juvenile crime and street life. Target group: students of two schools located in poor, mainly Russian-speaking, areas.

 

LATVIA:

Livslust: Livslust is a Swedish NGO which since 1994 runs a combined home/school located in Aizupe for adolescents who have spent most of their lives in orphanages and other institutions. Livslust' s objective is to prepare the children for a life on their own. The children are offered vocational training (carpentry, agriculture, sewing, construction work and cooking) as well as social training. The children may stay until they can support themselves and are emotionally ready for a life on their own. The average time the children spend in Livslust's s care is 2,5- 3 years. Target group: 35 adolescents

Pakapieni Mission Steps: Pakapieni Mission runs a shelter for pregnant women and single mothers and their babies located in Rauna. While staying in the shelter the mothers are taught how to be caring, responsible mothers in order to provide the best possible environment for their children. Target group: presently the shelter can accommodate 6 mothers

 

LITHUANIA:

Childrens Home for Interim Care "Atsigrezk I vaikus" : This is a temporary shelter where children can stay for one year during which time their situation is sorted out and after which they will either return to their parents, go to a children s home or be adopted. World Childhood Foundation supports special after-school programs for the girls. Target group: approx. 70 children

Lithuanian Aids Center: Many different factors put the underprivileged teen-age girls in Vilnius at risk for social and health disasters, e.g. lack of information, poor education and respect for the rights of children, lower status of women and abuse of power by adults. Poverty, use of alcohol and other drugs, poor or no family ties may lead to prostitution, domestic violence and rape. A certain gender vulnerability exists, particularly for young girls. These girls risk serious health problems, not only for themselves, but also for the whole society by transferring conditions like syphilis, tuberculosis, HIV. There is a direct linkage between prostitution, drug trade and criminality. World Childhood Foundation' s donation will be used to establish a clinic which will be offering medical health prevention, counseling, care and social support. Furthermore a drop-in day care center will be established where social counseling will be mixed with different activities to motivate the girls to change their life style. The project is a collaboration between the Lithuanian AIDS Center, the Lund University and the Lithuanian National Committee for Health Prevention.


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