Russian children are at the heart of Fory Charitable Trust (FCT), a faith-based organization formed in 2008 to support Russian orphans and special needs children. As in many countries, orphans in Russia are often neglected by the public and are given minimal support by the government. Orphan babies are often left alone in their beds for many hours at a time wet and dirty. Rarely are they touched and cuddled by a caring human. Although undocumented, there are cases reported of orphan girls and boys being sold for sex in exchange for financial benefits paid to the orphanage.
Orphans that reach their teenage years are released from the orphanage to the streets with very little practical training in how to relate to the outside world and make a living. Many teenage girls and boys are drawn into lives of prostitution and crime as a matter of survival. Many turn to drugs and alcohol and approximately 10% will commit suicide.
There are approximately 604,000 children with disabilities living in Russia. According to Human Rights Watch, nearly 30% of these children live in state orphanages where they may face violence and neglect. Thankfully, things are slowly beginning to change and the government has recognized the need to help these children and their families. Many families are now keeping their child with disabilities at home and are utilizing accessible community-based services.
Fory Charitable Trust seeks to help Russian children in practical and spiritual ways in three areas:
1. Orphan Care – Provide humanitarian aid for orphans and support for local follow-up teams that volunteer their time to work with the children and organize activities for them. Provide funds for Christmas and Easter celebrations, graduation parties and gifts for those aging out of the system.
2. The Harbor – This is a program for emancipated orphans. The Harbor provides an apartment for residents to live; teaches basic life skills (cooking, budgeting money, laundry, etc.); ensures the residents are employed and enrolled in school to learn useful job skills; teaches social skills and provides psychological counseling. The Harbor consists of two apartments: one for young men (opened May, 2014) and one for young ladies (opened February, 2016). The boy’s apartment can house up to five residents and the girl’s apartment can accommodate six. The apartments are typically full and have a waiting list. Recently, the Social Services Department and some directors of orphanages began referring potential residents to The Harbor.
3. Art Therapy – In 2016, FCT began sponsoring an art therapy program for disabled children at Zaitseva, a state-run facility that offers parents a place to meet the needs of their disabled child. Fory Charitable Trust aims to teach the children coping skills and eye/hand coordination through various art projects. The program targets those with Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Downs Syndrome. FCT provides an administrator, art teacher and monthly art supplies. Zaitseva provides four additional teachers to conduct classes. The program began with 20 children and now has over 80 children participating in the art classes.
City Centre Coffee is wholely committed with FCT to give practical and spiritual help to suffering orphans in Russia. For more information on the work that FCT is doing in Russia, please visit their website at the link provided below. A portion of each sale at City Centre Coffee goes to assist FCT in their work of loving and caring for Russian children.