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Orphan Graduate Program

Orphan Outreach has seen the tremendous needs of orphan graduates in Russia. These children have to leave the orphanage at ages 15 to 18 and have very little hope for a successful future. There is usually one social worker for all of the children in the orphanage (80-125 children). There is no possible way for the social worker to meet the needs of all of these children, especially the significant needs of those who are about to graduate.

Most of the children leave the orphanage and end up in drugs, prison or commit suicide.  The statistics from the government are staggering.  They have no one to help them find a place to live, encourage and support them through school or teach them how to function independently. One of the biggest difficulties for a graduate is knowing who they can trust.  Sadly, many of them do not trust anyone because of their past experiences.

Orphan Outreach began its orphan graduate program in January of 2009. The staff work with the directors of the orphanages and with children they have known through their work to determine who will enter the program. They spend time with each child and assess their individual needs, desires and personal situations and make a plan for them.  The case manager, staff and volunteers help them to learn how to live independently which includes finding a place to live or transitioning to a vocational school or college. It also includes helping them understand how to shop for food, prepare food, manage their finances, communicate effectively with others and work through their legal rights as an orphan.   They need help with their financial situation, apartment repairs, daily needs and decisions they have to make and are usually very behind in school and need tutoring. The staff and volunteers are there to provide the emotional, spiritual and physical help that they need.

The graduates have so many urgent needs:  food, clothing (especially warm), shoes, hygiene items, tutors, support for tuition and school supplies, apartment repairs and furniture. Many of them have not had any dental care and need to go to the doctor as well.  They typically receive a room in a communal apartment living with other orphan graduates they do not know.  These rooms can be in terrible and unsafe conditions.

Our goal is to help as many of these graduates as possible, providing them a safe, nurturing support system that will continue with them throughout their lives and enable them to become productive members of society and the men and women they were created to be. Our desire is to grow the program to help more graduates and to provide for more of their urgent needs.  You may give for the graduate program to help them with their urgent needs or to help support the program as we provide for them daily.

Orphan Outreach also supports these graduates through our sponsorship program

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  • Capital - Moscow
  • Size/Area - 6,592,735 sq miles
  • Population - 143.4 million
  • Time Zone - 8-9 hours ahead of CST
  • Language(s) - Russian
  • Currency - Ruble (R)
  • Type of Government - Federation
  • Current Leader - President Vladimir Putin
  • Compulsory Education - 6 to 17 years
  • Literacy - 99%
  • Religion - Russian Orthodox
  • Spanning 10 time zones, Russia is the largest country on earth in terms of surface area, covering across Eastern Europe to Asia.
  • When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, its shaky orphan-care system also fell.
  • No country has such a severe alcohol abuse problem as Russia. Official estimates are that 40% of men and 7% of women are alcoholics.
  • Over 750,000 children live in orphanages, ranging in age from newborns to 18 year olds, with another 1.2 million living on the streets
  • An orphan's average life expectancy is less than 30 years.
  • At age 15 to 18, children are forced to leave the orphanages (emancipated) with little or no formal schooling, very limited life skills, and no one to turn to for assistance.
  • Within the first year of leaving the orphanage, over 50% are involved in prostitution or crime, another 30% are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and another 10% commit suicide.