Pavlovsk State Orphanage
Since 1996 we have worked at the home for children in Pavlovsk, a town just outside of Saint Petersburg. Our project is called “Children Outside the Family,” and we work with children suffering from different developmental diseases living at the 4th orphanage.
About the problem:
As all parents know, raising children requires an individualized approach. If a child is developmentally disabled, they require even more of an individualized approach. Unfortunately, children with disabilities are given adequate attention or care in the Russian State system. Most of these children are without families, and their existences are confined to the rather bleak confines of the state orphanage. State orphanages are often understaffed and workers have to comply with rigid procedures that do not do much to encourage growth for their wards.
Goals of our program:
We try to create a life structure for the children with physical and mental disabilities living in the orphanage that is as similar as possible to the structure experienced by children who to not suffer from such ailments. We try to diversify the children’s experiences so their lives are not drowned in monotony, and provide them with meaningful and structured relationships that help to educate them and foster emotional growth. We believe that every child has their own unique potential, and the realization of this potential is key to a child’s ability to find meaning and a sense of belonging in life. All of our efforts are aimed at helping these children realize their potential and feel like the unique and valued people that they are.
The current state of the program:
As of 2018, “Perspectives” works with 75 children from the fourth Pavlovsk orphanage, where children with the most serious impediments live.
8 teachers and specialists from “Perspectives” conduct classes and play games, organize holidays and trips, provide additional care and support, work with children on adaptive physical education, and communicate with the parents and relatives of the children.
Coordinators from “Perspectives” help arrange interactions within the program, as well as with state specialists from orphanage No. 4 and correctional school No. 25 in the best interests of the children, volunteers working with “Perspectives” help children 4 days a week (the “Voluntary Social Year” program) and 10-12 volunteers help out on weekends.