When Natasha was 12 she was a lonely, insecure and disppointed girl.
Before she came to «Yablonka» she lived in a family with an unamploed mother and a father who worked occasianally. Natasha is not the only child in the family, she has two younger brothers. The family lived in a nine-square-meter apartment with no amenities.
Her mother often left home and was not present for several days. Her mother is an alcohol addict. The girl had no parental attention, education, even a bed to sleep on was not there for her in the tiny room she called home.
Natasha had to learn how to beg on the street corner close to her home or next to a store to provide for herself and her brothers.
The school was not an option for a girl who had no clean clothes, school books. Every time she went to school she heard only hurtful comments from her school «friends».
In «Yablonka» Natasha lives already two years now. She is smart, neat and passionate to help others.
She is now going to the 6th grade in school, loves to fancywork, read and clay sculpting.
Today, we are helping Natasha with the legal documents, such as ID and custody papers so that she can live with her grandmother.
They are our kids
Stories told here are just a small part of what we daily hear at «Yablonka». We hope that these stories will help you understand who are these children who come to us for help. This might also help you understand our mission. All names are changed.
Anton is 16 now, but we know him as a 10 y.o. boy who came to «Yablonka» crying and begging to let him stay.
First, he would come to «Yablonka» every day looking for a place to have a hot meal, play with other children and do his school home work.
At home with his parents he couldn’t stay. His mother was constantly on the run leaving her children for… years alone! Since Anton came to «Yablonka» she never called to ask how he is doing. She might have even forgot about his existence.
The boy lived with his grandmother and his uncle. Both of them are alcoholics, they like to party more than they love me, the boy said.
Often Anton had to witness drunken parties, fights and rough treatment. In his room at home once was a fire, but after the fire the room was never renovated. So Anton had to live in a room with charred walls.
Often he had to steal money to buy food.
It’s five years now since Anton moved to «Yablonka». Since then he could finish with the school and now studies at the College for civil engineering in Kaliningrad.
You would be nicelly surprised when you see him now. It’s a neat, intelligent young man who loves arts and helps other foster children at «Yablonka».
We help Anton to get his personal legal documents which were… lost in his family.
Since his mother is out of the city and no-one can find her, the situation with Anton documents is not easy to solve.
Today we also help Anton to secure for him a place to live where he is officially registered.
This cute little girl lives in «Yablonka» two years now. And every day she waits and hopes that her mother will come to take her home.
The mother never comes, and Marina cries when she calls her mother and hears on the other side of the telephone line «You are not my daughter».
Marina is the oldest child in the family, she has a brother and a sister. Her mother remarried, and the new step-father has no place in his heart for Marina.
Her step-father often beat Marina, drove her out of the house. The only place Marina felt secure in was… in the backyard of the house.
Her mother and her step-father are alcoholics. They even forced Marina to drink alcohol and smoke when she was a little.
In the school Marina was an outcast. Teachers didn’t want to spend time with her and sent her often to «special schools» for — as they said — «mentally retarded children».
Marina calls it LUCK that one day she was brought to «Yablonka».
Today it’s a good student in the school, very responsible and diligent. When she does something it’s always good and neat.
When you ask Marina today what she wants to become when she is grows up, you might hear her saying «I want to become a person worth of respect!».