Supporting Russian children from outside of Russia (Version 1)
[Project is on-hold because of a serious lack of time]
This is a work in progress and will be updated every Saturday evening (based on GMT+2).
(There will also be 3 posts released soon for valid and trustworthy ways to support Ukrainian, Moldovan and Polish children while living in other countries.)
Possibly you know that feeling, you wish to support something, but there is some kind of barrier. This is especially the case when you wish to support someone or something in another country. Most often the websites are only available in a, to you, strange language, and you don’t even know if they are trustworthy and really do what they claim. The latter being the case for this post as well, as there are quite some organizations in Russia that don’t truly do what they say.
Henceforth the list you can find below. The organizations that I name I vouch for that they are trustworthy. I won’t lie, most often this is because I have some sort of connection to them, meaning I have been able to verify that they truly do what they claim.
To avoid the possibility of any problems, all of the organizations are located in Russia itself and are not just middleman services in other countries, and neither organizations that work based on projects that switch from time to time. This has to do with the fact that many of those who work based on projects that change from time to time suddenly don’t support Russian children anymore, but suddenly only support Russian adults and Russian elderly, if any Russian people at all.
This is, for example, the case with an organization called “Доркас СНГ” or in English “Dorcas CIS”. It is an organization that started out in The Netherlands and has been active in Russia since 1993, and are also located in Moscow, apart of their Dutch location in Andijk. They used to have projects in support of children, like the recently ended, or fully funded, project in Stavropol in support of orphans. They are also active as middleman for several other organizations in my birth city of Zaporizhia in Ukraine.
Anyhow, if you would try to support them at this moment to support Russian children, it would not be possible. There would be the possibility of supporting them to support Roma children here in the region of Dnipro, or in the Zakarpattia Oblast, but that is another list, that is Ukraine.
My point being, I would have vouched for Dorcas Aid International in an instant, as I do know most of the organizations that they are middleman to, but they are not listed because of the fact that their supports change too often to be certain that they will still be supporting Russian children. Just because something is not listed does not necessarily mean they are not trustworthy, most probably it is because of reasons like that.
In case you wish to know about any charitable organization in Russia that is not listed whether they are trustworthy or not, you may always contact me. For most organizations in Russia I am able to verify whether they are trustworthy.
NGO – Non-governmental organization(s) – These organizations are not connected to any government, nor receive governmental support.
NPO – Non-profit organization(s) – These organizations do not make any profit, all of the funds are directed to the projects they have, all workers for these organizations are volunteers.
Orphans – They are children who lost BOTH parents to a cause of death. Some others use this term also in case of the loss of 1 parent, I do not!
Children without parental care – It kind of says it already, these are children without parental care. Most often abandoned children or orphans, but also those who were placed out of home.
If you’re part of any of the named organizations and wish for me to change the standard info or the ways to support, please contact me through social media. My Twitter, Facebook, and VK accounts can be found at the top of this page.
Charity foundation ‘Here and Now’ / Благотворительный фонд “Здесь и сейчас!”
Standard info: ‘Here and Now’ is a charitable foundation supporting children without parental care, and is located in the city of Moscow. They started out in 2005 by a group of likeminded people who all wished to change the broken ways of how the care system used to be in Russia. ‘Here and Now’ is a NGO and NPO, meaning they are fully unrelated to the Russian government, as well as that none of the donated money will go anywhere else than the projects they have.
Their support mainly goes to the care of children in institutions, like children’s homes, orphanages, and shelters. However, they do also support host families, or better known as adoptive families, in future needs, this to ensure that the children who were adopted find a true ‘forever family’.
My own words: This is one of those foundations that I truly love. I have quite strong ties to this organization and know they do as promised, with many of those who they supported also vouching for their creditability. Supporting this foundation truly equals the best support will be delivered to children without parental care. Apart of that, they do also think of future prospects and alternate needs. As an example, they ensure children also have toys to play with, but also that after their adoption they will not be without their needs in case adoptive families do end up in troubles, think of medical costs as a good example. They are truly one of the best foundations in support of children without parental care in Russia.
AdVita Fund / фонд АдВита
Standard info: ‘AdVita’ is a charitable foundation in support of cancer patients, including children affected by cancer. They are located in the city of Saint Petersburg. However, since 2007, they also have an American counterpart called “Advita Fund USA” in the city of Houston, Texas. The USA counterpart was founded by Marina Ouano, who is originally from Russia, but currently lives in Houston, Texas. To directly quote what she said: “For the last few years, I volunteered as a translator for Advita Fund in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, I saw that the fund had limited opportunity to support children with advanced stage diseases who had no further treatment options in Russia, but could be helped in countries with more developed healthcare system. This eventually led to the start up of Advita Fund USA.”.
My own words: If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have seen the messages of both the Russian and American parts of this fund coming by. Both the Russian and American counterpart are close to my heart, especially because of their stances against populism and the clear understanding about the ongoing war here in the East of Ukraine. Apart of that, they are heavily vouched for by people. Although I have no true connection to them myself, there are those among who vouch for AdVita that are as close as family, meaning I believe their credibility is unflawed.
How to support: You could either find the ways to support through their main website or their American website, both are available in the English language. If you’re located in the USA it probably would be smart to use their American website.
Maria’s Children Art Center | Художественный центр «Дети Марии»
Standard info: Maria’s Children is a charitable organization successfully working in Moscow since 1997 helping orphans overcome their psychological problems and to gain social confidence through art therapy and various development activities. In total around 200 children are involved in activities held at our two studio spaces in the center of Moscow. In the midst of a warm, loving atmosphere, the children study painting, ceramics, patchwork, felting, sewing, music, foreign languages, cooking, drama, and other crafts and skills, none of these they receive at their respective orphanages. We also run outreach programmes aimed at older orphans entering society independently for the first time.
(The information above was supplied by Maria Eliseeva, founder of the Maria’s Children Art Center)
My own words: There are some organizations that you simply need to know if you have lived somewhere, being a previous resident of Moscow, I know Maria’s Children Art Center quite well. When it comes to Maria’s Children there is just the need for 1 word, which is the word: Smiles. As that’s what you see on the faces when you visit Maria’s Children, as well as when you ask anyone who goes there while being “at home” about Maria’s Children. There is quite literally no need for me to even vouch, as everyone who goes there would already do so, but still, I will and do.
How to support: You can find ways to support them through their main website. It is available in the English language, as well as Russian and Italian.
Change One Life | Измени одну жизнь
My own words: When you say children without parental care in Russia, you instantly will get noted of ‘Change One Life’. It is the organization which requires me to skip the standard info, as it would be meaningless for me to add it, hence there just being a promotional video. They are an organization that is quite heavily connected to the Russian government, which is not strange, as they have needed the Russian government to make the changes that they did. ‘Change One Life’ is located in the city of Moscow and helps children without parental care that are able to be adopted. They do this by the video database they created of the previously very boring register. Their dedication is to increasing the chances of children being noticed and adopted by potential parents, as well as sharing a lot of information surrounding the process of adopting, parenting, situations in families, and more.
My personal main like of this organization is their focus on positivity, like shown by their (previous) project of “Read To Me” which had famous people reading to children to make them feel special and important, which they obviously are.
My vouch for this organisation is incredibly strong, even though their connection to the Russian government, as I know far too well that their efforts help. Eventually, I donate to this foundation quite often and even by my donations a few children have found families, as well as just social media shares. That’s probably what is so amazingly great about this organization, that you know that your donation will make a true change.
IMPORTANT: There is a Ukrainian counterpart of this foundation. However, in the current state of the Ukrainian foundation, I do not advice any support to this foundation. Henceforth that you will not see this one listed at the Ukrainian version of this post that will be published soon. Unlike the one listed here, the Russian foundation, the Ukrainian website offers close to none of the features the Russian website does, making the Ukrainian website at this moment quite obsolete. Please be aware of this.
How to support: Although ‘Change One Life’ their main website used to have an English version, it has been gone since late 2017. As we are already several months forward, I suppose it will not return any time soon. There is, however, the possibility to support ‘Change One Life’ through Global Giving. The downside of supporting ‘Change One Life’ through Global Giving is that you won’t know who exactly will be helped with your donation, which you would have known if you supported them through their main website. Therefore I offer the possibility for dedicated support to those who do really wish to donate through their main website and therefore will need translations of the pages, as well as a guide how the payment process will work.
The guide of the payment proces will be offered in images of all pages fully translated from Russian to English, done based on a previous donation I did myself and can be given without the support of me translating anything else, if you trust the translations of Google Translate enough to skip a human translation.
If you need this help, please contact me on social media.
More organizations will be added on the 28th of April 2018. (Update of the 21st of April 2018 was skipped because of lack of time.)