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Our challenges

When Margarete von der Borch founded Perspectives she sought to fill part of the vacuum in social services created by the fall of the Soviet Union and its various repercussions. Brought to Peter the Great’s beautiful city through study, von der Borch’s attention was torn from her books by the suffering she witnessed in the city’s less fortunate population. On the street she saw children living without means and hope, and in state homes she saw children crippled in body and soul, left voiceless and alone. Speaking to a German publication about the situation, she called it, “a misery that you cannot imagine here.”

Much has changed since Margarete von der Borch first set out to assist Saint Petersburg’s forgotten children, but the original mission of this work and the challenges we face doing it have abided. While social stability has been more or less established since the chaotic days of the 90’s, that stability often does not extend to the less fortunate members of society. The economic and social burden of raising children with disabilities often leaves parents with with little to no support. To this day an alarming number of children born with special needs are abandoned to state homes that are already teeming with children that they cannot adequately provide for.

At Perspectives we try to fight this problem on two fronts. The first is by getting involved with the state homes, and establishing programs of assistance and care for as many children as possible. This is what we do in Pavlovsk and it has been a unique success for these types of institutions in Russia. We are trying to continue our work here and spread these kind of programs throughout the city. Through our efforts were are able to connect those who have been shut out from society and life to a support system and enable them to find value in themselves and what they do. We have also started a program that continues to help our students once they have reached 18 years of age and are no longer able to receive the same care as earlier. At Peterhof, we continue working with our students and try to help them develop into adult members of society.

The front of this battle is trying to break the cycle of abandonment and suffering brought on by the dissolution of families and the desertion of special needs children. Over time it has become apparent that the best way to reduce the trauma and suffering of people with special needs is for them to remain in the care of their families and outside of state homes. To try and combat this devastating process we have started our “Family Support” project with the goal of assisting families in crisis.

To do all of these projects we rely on the help of specialists, professionals, and volunteers, however, we always in need of help and resources to aid our cause. Because of the economic situation in Russia, and the way the state institutional system operates, we are in a constant struggle to maintain funding for our projects. If you would like to help us recover another abandoned child in need, and build a path for them to development and a place in society, please consider donating to our cause (link to donation page).Our challenges