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«It's good that we are here together».

11.08.2020

Vika’s voice sounds cheerful and confident; she chooses words and says nothing extra. This is not about her reserved character, not about overconfidence or unwillingness to communicate; this is how a teenager who was forced to become an adult too early sounds. A teenager who knows what caution is and that not every adult can be trusted.

Vika is a middle child in a large family; Kyril and Seryozha are her elder brothers; they have been living their lives for a long time. And Lera and Makar were born after Vika; they are 11 and 8 years old correspondingly. Vika is 15; starting from the age of 13, she has been living with her younger brother and sister in the orphanage.

«I remember the day when they took us away. Makar and Lera went to visit their friend Asya, they were school friends, my mother was at home, and I went to see my friend. It was a great warm summer day. We were sitting with Ulya at her house when the police came suddenly. I was immediately told that we would be taken to an orphanage. I was surprised and not surprised at the same time, sooner or later this must have happened. I knew that they would find out that my mother was drinking. I was 13 years old, Makar was 6, and Lera was 9, I understood that living the way we lived was wrong.

We were brought to a shelter and had been living there for six months. Mom came on weekends, but not always. Our brothers also came, but we felt very calm there. And then suddenly they sent us back home. We stayed at home for three days, but after that, they came to take us back again and said that we needed to go to the hospital. I thought it was some kind of an examination for school, so I didn’t worry about that.

We had been staying in the hospital for a week, and then a woman from a child protection service arrived, she said that we all were going to an orphanage. She just said, «The three of you will be taken to an orphanage».


«I started crying, because I didn’t know anything, and the word ‘orphanage’ sounded extremely scary».


«They put us in a car, and I asked the woman who was going with us if my mother knew that we were taken to an orphanage. I cried because I was worried not about myself, but about her. I was told that she knew about that, I felt better, I didn’t want her to lose us».

Vika was born in Belarus; her family moved from Gomel to Russia. The girl was an excellent pupil at school, she studied music, helped with her younger brother and sister. Her mom started drinking with the girl’s stepfather, and there was no one nearby who could help her in this situation. Few children can do well in their studies having problems at home. Vika started to get her first Cs, the family collapsed, and she didn’t want to come back home after school. Unfortunately, child protection services found out about the problems in this family very late, and at the moment, only one thing was possible – to take the children to a shelter. The mother of a girl, who made friends with Lera and Makar, learned from the children that their parents were drinking and contacted child protection services. After checking and talking with their parents, the children were taken away. The parents were given six months to change their lifestyle, but just a few days after the children’s return from the shelter, alcohol had won.

«I thought it would be very bad at the orphanage. But it turned out to be so nice and cozy here. I like everything here, I mean, guys, and our teachers. We went hiking, made a fire by ourselves, cooked food, lived in tents, it was such an adventure. I study well again; I feel calm; I do not worry about my younger siblings.

I thought it would be very bad at the orphanage. But it turned out to be so nice and cozy here. I like everything here, I mean, guys, and our teachers. We went hiking, made a fire by ourselves, cooked food, lived in tents, it was such an adventure. I study well again; I feel calm; I do not worry about my younger siblings.

I thought it would be very bad at the orphanage. But it turned out to be so nice and cozy here. I like everything here, I mean, guys, and our teachers. We went hiking, made a fire by ourselves, cooked food, lived in tents, it was such an adventure. I study well again; I feel calm; I do not worry about my younger siblings.

I read books again and do extra activities. Lera is funny and kind. She is the person I confide in, we sit down next to each other and chat. Makar is still quite small and does not understand everything, but he is so kind and so funny, he and Lera are very much alike, they  have the same father. They are my closest people; I think about them and smile. It’s good that we are here together.

We were offered a foster family, but I love my mother against all the odds, so I don’t need a foster family, it’s right that I live in the orphanage, I feel good here».

Vika has been participating in the Chance program for a year and will continue for the entire 9 th grade. It was important for her to improve her knowledge of all the subjects as quickly as possible to keep up with the program and prepare for the pedagogical college. After that, the girl plans to enter a university.

«I think life is a very difficult thing. Earlier, everything was hard, we weren’t rich, but still not that bad. And then God put such an obstacle, he did it on purpose, for me, for us, and we had overcome it, and everything is fine again. That’s why I am always optimistic; I do my best. I do not want to be disappointed, and I know for sure that if I lived at home now, I wouldn’t have the things I have now: the opportunities, the future.

There is nothing I can do to help my mother; she is sick; she needs a doctor, not a daughter. When I graduate from the orphanage, I have to become independent; if she can’t, then I will take care of my brother and sister».

Vika does hip-hop, sings, goes to fire-applied Firefighter Games in the Federal Rescue Service, spends all her free time studying, or with her younger brother and sister.


«I am sympathetic; I can help a person any second, any minute, no matter if this is a friend or a brother. I appreciate the understanding, and I dream of a simple thing – to live like all the other normal people. And I know that now everything depends only on me. I have to try harder than others because I have no family behind my back».


By supporting Vika and her studies, you will become the one who stands behind her, helping her not to fall and keep believing in herself and achieving her goals. Thank you.

*All raised funds will be used to pay for the lessons for Vika and other children from her orphanage.

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