A Hope for the Future
Our founder and president Luiza Dell had recognized the core of the downward cycle of poverty early on, quoting the saying: “Give them fish, and they will return for more tomorrow, teach them how to fish, and they will be fed forever.” The real help comes in the form self sustainability. The problem that we see in each poverty stricken community ranging from Armenia to Outer Moscow is the same; children and minors have parents that have effectively abandoned them, and are thus left homeless. These homeless children wind up in a life of theft, burglary, violence, prostitution and drug addiction, and in turn have children themselves that they cannot shelter.
The scale on which this is happening is alarmingly high, too many people are being affected by this to simply disregard it as a minor problem. “There are more of these abandoned children now than ever… in ten years they themselves will present a threat to our communities, and that of course will be accompanied by an even greater influx of hungry, ill, and innocent homeless boys and girls.” – Director of the Latoshinskiy Shelter. Our stance on this situation is that an institution is needed to break this cycle and save so many children, so much suffering. Luckily these institutions already exist. We are already working with many young women and children’s shelters, in over 6 countries that are geared toward stopping the cycle of poverty. However they themselves lack the logistics and resources to accomplish this goal.
A few simple things are needed, and we have been working on securing the following items: (1) Warm Shelter (2) Clothing/Shoes (3) Medical attention (4) Sufficient food (5) A Learning facility/Building Supplies (6)School supplies. The advantage of this situation is that (1) When the program works, its result eliminates the need for the program itself, (2) The material costs to keep the program running, once it has passed the initial stages are not very high, (3) There are no required monetary donations, because the shelter is run by volunteer electricians, teachers, doctors, and anyone who would like to help out (in the past we’ve seen the children themselves volunteer at the shelter after they have matured and have begun their studies at a university, or technical institute), (4) The facilities that are needed for this are already there, they simply need additional attention, and additional products.
The problem that these shelters have been having before they have contacted us was that the children, not satisfied with the amount of food, medical attention and clothing provided, have fled the shelter to seek help in the streets, by begging and stealing, and showing up at hospitals to receive medical attention. These occurrences are very unfortunate, because the children are attacked, raped, exploited and sometimes critically injured during their search for sustenance and aid (often the hospital staff and local police partake in these acts of violence).
The shelters must first have enough to keep the children with them, this requires some building materials to have a secure, warm place for its little residents. Food with which to sustain them, garments to clothe them in, and medicine with which to treat them. Once these 4 basic needs are fulfilled the learning process can begin, during which time we plan to secure school/office supplies.
The need for building, school, and office supplies is not a recurring one. Once it is satisfied once, it is not needed to be satisfied again for quite some time. The need for medical equipment is not recurring either. We have also noted that as the children mature, their need for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals decreases dramatically as well. Currently in some of our shelters we have been able to provide these basic needs and have already begun the process of bettering and educating the children, who finally feel that their lives are progressing forward.