Children in institutional care
By training Belarusian professionals in family placement for children unable to live with their biological parents we have helped to reduce the number of children living in large overcrowded institutions.
As the number of foster families grows, institutions are beginning to close.
Seven year old Anton said the best thing about living in a foster family was that he only has one mamma.
By training professionals in supporting children in their own families we are helping to prevent children from entering institutions in the first place.
Nineteen year old Sasha spent almost all his childhood in an institution and told us he would rather live on a crust of bread a day and stay with his family than live in an institution.
In April 2010 Kirsty Hill and Lorena Cecchi delivered training in a parenting programme designed to enable workers to improve relationships between parents and their young children.
Lorena is a psychologist with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and Kirsty manages a group of children’s centres in Wakefield. They were assisted by Ira Prakapovich who interprets most of our training programmes.
For young people leaving care, life outside the institution can be scary. Our leaving care project, which is run jointly with an Italian charity, Forum, sponsors mentors to teach life skills to young people and support them after they have left the institution. We are training the mentors and carers of the young people at Gomel Boarding School.
With our help these young people will stay in education and stay out of trouble, eventually finding employment and feeling more confident as they approach adulthood.
Read about how our Exchange Visits have also made a huge difference to countless Belarusian children.