Elizabethan Foundation: A Story From The Astrakhan Home, Where Mothers Are Helped

Elizabethan Foundation: A Story From The Astrakhan Home, Where Mothers Are Helped
Elizabethan Foundation: A Story From The Astrakhan Home, Where Mothers Are Helped

Video: Elizabethan Foundation: A Story From The Astrakhan Home, Where Mothers Are Helped

Video: Elizabethan Foundation: A Story From The Astrakhan Home, Where Mothers Are Helped
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Lack of moral and financial support, difficulties in relations with relatives, despair and insecurity force women to seek any possible help. While in large cities the charitable organizations that provide support are usually widely known, in the regions the funds have practically no information support. Thus, in Astrakhan for the fourth year in a row, the Elizabethan Foundation has been opening its doors for women in a difficult situation. The main goal of the charitable organization is to make it clear to everyone in a crisis situation that they are not alone.


Home for mom

The realization of this goal began with the opening of the shelter. The idea was embodied thanks to the interaction of the fund's team with the Astrakhan diocese - it became possible to use the building of the former monastery courtyard. A grant in the "Orthodox Initiative" competition made it possible to equip the shelter, make it fit and comfortable for life. Up to ten women can live here, but solving the problems of the wards does not end with a roof over their heads.

“We do not take everyone who asks for help. It is important for us that a person comes with a plan, and we give an impetus and help in implementation. For example, you need to draw up documents, you need to complete your education, you need to retrain and find a job, you need to restore relations with your family, you need to receive alimony or maternity capital, purchase housing - this is where our specialists help. The woman has been living with us for a month. After that, if I did not manage to realize my plan, but there is some progress, we extend the stay for another month. On average, the wards live in our shelter for about six months. The main thing for us is that the woman should take the initiative to correct her own situation,”explains Maksim Tulaev, the fund's coordinator.

One of the new charges, Yulia, is an orphan. The girl grew up in an orphanage, and today she already has two children. The first child was born in a civil marriage, but, unfortunately, the girl's father left the family. On April 25, Julia became a mother for the second time, but it did not work out to start a family again. Since the girl lived in an orphanage, she was supposed to have an apartment, but a number of problems arose with the receipt of housing.

“I lived with a friend. Her mother told me that they had opened such a fund - she saw it on TV. I first came to get the mixture, and then I talked to the psychologist Ekaterina Vasilievna and asked to stay,”the girl says. To live in the shelter, it was only necessary to collect photocopies of the birth certificates of children, a passport and SNILS.

Julia's son will soon be three months old. When the gaze of his large blue eyes is directed at his mother, the smile does not leave the baby's face, it seems, not for a moment. The fund's employees affectionately call the boy Timurchik. Dayana is Timur's older sister. She says she doesn't know the numbers yet, but confidently shows four fingers when asked how old she is. As a gift, the correspondents brought her Minnie Mouse - a soft toy in a pink dress, similar to the girl's outfit. Dayana did not part with the mouse: she hugged her, came up with a name and showed her new friend the premises of the foundation. By the way, Dayana communicates well with the daughter of another ward. “She finds a common language with everyone,” Yulia says with a smile about her daughter. Then he begins a story about his life in the fund.

Every day Julia wakes up at 7:30 am, has breakfast and starts cleaning. After that, you can go for a walk with the children, but you must warn the fund's employees.

The leisure time of children living in the shelter is arranged as follows: on the ground floor there is a playroom, where children can be without their parents. They are engaged in modeling, painting, drawing, watching cartoons. From time to time the children have classes with psychologists. Here, Dayana is happy to show you how to cook porridge on a toy stove. The main ingredient in this dish is imaginary milk.

Ksenia, deputy head of the social department of the Astrakhan diocese and a child psychologist, shared that Malyshkina's room is her favorite project: “We have had a children's room for a year now. We have a room, and they bring us a lot of toys, books, children's furniture. In addition, we decided to separately apply for a grant that makes it possible to pay for teachers, so that the support is more serious. Due to the fact that the quarantine period is still underway, we have closed and we only deal with the children living with us. A teacher comes to them for creative activities, in which the children acquire certain skills. In addition, if parents have a crisis and problems, there must be a child psychologist nearby. Working with children helps both the children and the psychologist himself. The child is like a mirror that reflects everything, thus helping to identify difficulties in the family."

Ksenia admits that it is not easy to work with young children, but they have no idea of hiding something. The main thing is to find an approach to children so that the child begins, for example, to draw. Everything that he draws and plays in the sandbox, the child psychologist can analyze: colors, pressure, how long the child focuses on some fragment of the drawing.

The main purpose of living in the shelter of Yulia, like other girls, is to receive help, and not only psychological. On Monday, Yulia communicates with the staff of the foundation, determines for herself what needs to be done during the week, and slowly but surely moves towards achieving her goal. For example, a girl recently visited a pension fund, where she applied for an allowance for her daughter Dayana. Often you have to ask for advice in order to resolve legal issues. For example, what kind of patronymic and surname to give a newborn child, how to get in touch with the father and resolve the issue of alimony. Psychologists and volunteer lawyers help Yulia to do this.

“Yulia, probably, didn’t also tell that she is responsible for cleaning with us. The girls themselves keep order and they do it carefully - not every house can be so clean. There is a schedule in which the girls sign, and thanks to which it is determined every day who will do the cleaning on which territory of the fund,”notes one of the fund's psychologists Ekaterina Zakharova.

Julia has been living in the shelter for about a month, and is already planning to take a certificate for receiving a room in a hostel: “I would like to have my own corner, my own home. So that I know that no one will kick me out with my children."

Humanitarian aid

The humanitarian warehouse at the Elizabethan Foundation is open for everyone, from Wednesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00. It is open to parents and children who need help. Here you can find things for children from zero to ten years old. The greatest need arises for things for pregnant women. It so happens that a mother comes for help directly from the maternity hospital with a newborn, sometimes the child is a little older. The first thing to do is go to the pharmacy.

“We have already calculated that about 1400 rubles are spent on a baby who comes to us. As a rule, he always needs to get something from the pharmacy. It can be simple, elementary things or drugs prescribed by a doctor,”- said Ekaterina.

Also, the fund is in great need of hygiene products. It is important that the child has his own soap and shampoo, and the mother has her own. Moreover, when it comes to a newborn: you need ladles, baths, a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. Of course, diapers are given out if the mother goes for a walk with the child during the day.

There are plans to organize the supply of perishable dairy products. “What do many people think, who helps the fund with food? I will buy canned food, potatoes, carrots, onions. But mom also wants some kind of variety for herself and her children: cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir, fermented baked milk. We need funds or it is important for us that there is someone who can provide us with this,”explains the psychologist. Julia is silent at these words. When asked what she would like personally to, she modestly answers about the mixture for Timurchik.

Religious support

The foundation began its activity thanks to cooperation with the Astrakhan diocese. The religious component is important for many wards. So, women living in the shelter can always talk to the priest, confess. Julia, for example, recently decided to baptize Timur.

What will happen next?

The Elizabethan Foundation wants to grow, develop, and do more for more people. This is important both for the fund's team and for those who need their help. Already, the organization is engaged in projects such as "School for Pregnant Women", as well as conducting free classes for preschoolers in the "Preparatory" club. It is planned to place containers for donating things near the temples.

At the regional level in Astrakhan, the Elizabethan Foundation is the most active non-profit organization. She has already won two presidential grant competitions. In 2019, on a competitive basis, the fund was provided with a subsidy from the budget of the Astrakhan region to support socially oriented non-profit organizations.

“Women with different fates come to us. In order to help everyone, you have to pull on many strings. This experience needs to be gained. Over time, it is necessary to learn to live without grants, since we have passed the starting stage. Now you will not be able to count on the help calculated to launch the project. We will persistently look for sponsors, partners, assistants. We will evolve and try to improve the quality of work,”Maxim thinks about the future of the organization.

It is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the Elizabethan Foundation and similar organizations: to support the development of the home, which rescues many women and children from a crisis situation.

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