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Russian Orphanage

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Video of Maria's Children visiting Vyschgorod in 2005. (requires Windows Media Player to view)

The Vyschgorod orphanage is situated in the Naro-Fominsk region 120 km west of Moscow , in the out-of-the-way village called Vyschgorod. The orphanage is located in the middle of fields and a surrounding forest. There is a small town on each side, with a 20 km. distance in each direction, and only a couple of dachas nearby, with a very small store, and bus stop. On August 1, 1980 a municipal educational (correctional) boarding school was established, and it is listed as type 8 under the Russian government. There is an internat (building where the children live) that is the home to 98 children live. 72 of these children are orphans. There is also a school that is very well disciplined with good educational opportunities and another building for some of the staff to live in. Since 1994, the institution has been raising orphans and other children under its guardianship.

Children with "mental disorders" have to be taught in special programs. During 9 years of school they receive knowledge equal to the knowledge of 4th or 5th year pupils at an ordinary school. Clearly, many of these children have been misdiagnosed, and would function well, if given the proper environment. Teachers, and mentors of the orphanage during its entire existence have had to solve a lot of non-pedagogical problems, including transportation, equipment, housing, living quarters for the staff, and salary issues. At different times, some of these problems were solved by different people wishing to help, such as regional authorities (e.g., V. I. Kramkov). There has also been support provided by commercial and charitable organizations, and by such people as Viktor Krüger, pastor from Germany . But, of course, nothing would have been done without the active work and concern of the director of Vyschgorod orphanage, Pavel Ivanovich Laschenkov.

ROOF (Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund) began working on a new educational approach at Vyschgorod in January, 2004, but does not have financial help needed to keep this program alive. Galina Lebedeva, coordinator of this program, is dedicated to keeping it going in future. As well, Maria's Children, Teremok, and Michael McKenzie have supported Vyschgorod during 2004. Dorothy Robbins has been involved with Vyschgorod since 1999.

Here is a list of the basic needs now:

  • Funding for ROOF educational programs

  • Funding for after school/weekend/holiday educational programs, which are supported by Maria's Children and Teremok

  • Funding for the New Year's Gathering of graduates to return to Vyschgorod and discussion their new situation

  • Funding for further diagnosis and remediation for those children with learning disorders

  • Expansion of facilities. There needs to be a new floor added to the internat

  • A bus to bring children and teachers to Moscow for workshops, cultural events

  • Computers with internet connections

  • Mini-Van to bring people from Moscow for seminars, workshops, etc.

  • Musical instruments, art, English instruction

  • School (see picture) needs complete renovating

  • More vegetables, fruit, and sweets

  • Clothes, shoes for the children

  • A roof on the school building needs repairing

  • Replacement of windows at the school

  • Additional electricity and heating for a warehouse and garage that was constructed during the summer of 2000

  • Medical and dental care for the children

  • Educational games, and more equipment for sports

  • Scholarships to help these young people become more independent. With scholarships they could later go to Moscow and learn a trade and computer skills.

Contact information: Galina Lebedeva: galebedeva@yandex.ru; or Dorothy Robbins: drobbins@rambler.ru

All proceeds go directly to the children. If you would like to make a donation directly or would like to become a partner, please contact D. Robbins by E-mail, using the word Vyschgorod in the subject line.

Director, Pavel Ivanovich Laschenkov, and the teachers in the ROOF program 2004

Moskovskaya Oblast
Naro-Fominskiy r-n
d. 3-4, Internat