Faith, Hope, Love is a preventative program designed to keep families together. Orphan’s Tree reaches young women who have been identified at the greatest risk to abdicate their parental rights. With training, as well as emotional, spiritual and financial support, young mothers are keeping their children.
The goal of Faith, Hope, Love is to prevent young children from being placed in orphanages and to enable young families to create a healthy environment in which they can raise their children.
Orphan’s Tree provides our older at-risk orphans with unique opportunities for interacting with U.S. professionals, taking part in educational tours within Russia, and support to talented students studying in Moscow and St Petersburg Universities. Assisting with tutoring, stipends, tuition and /or books are some of the ways we encourage young people to pursue their dreams.
“I am very thankful for these computer classes. Without knowing how to work on the computer you won’t get far, you simply won’t be able to find a decent job.”
Orphan’s Tree Education Program provides opportunities for orphans to maximize their educational opportunities in traditional and non-traditional settings.
Receiving adequate healthcare is a common problem for Russian orphans, undermining their opportunities for long-term success. Orphan’s Tree provides dental services and funds for necessary and emergency medical care.
“I’m happy that there is a dentist at the Orphan’s Tree clinic and that treatment is free of charge. We can’t afford dental care in the city. Our dentist Svetlana is very kind and her treatment is also pain free. One of my teeth needed to be pulled out and Svetlana arranged it that I could get that service for free in the city dental clinic where she has a full time job. Now all my teeth are fixed.”
The Dental and Medical program provides quality preventative and corrective treatment for older orphans who received minimal care during their childhood.
Orphans often live day to day with little thought or planning for their futures. Orphan’s Tree encourages young people to take an inventory of their interests and talents and consider a career that will be rewarding. The Job Preparation & Placement program assists Russian orphans to prepare for and acquire a job, and to find fulfillment and satisfaction in their work.
Orphan’s Tree Job Preparation & Placement begins with basic understanding of potential careers, identifies possible career matches and prepares orphans to succeed in getting and keeping appropriate employment.
Reared in an institution, orphans typically struggle with basic life skills so common among children raised in a family setting. We continually provide practical assistance to young orphans, helping them cope with the outside world.
“When I learned that my former orphanage director, Antonina, was going to work at the Ministry Center, I started attending the classes with pleasure and brought my girlfriends from tech school. These girls are also orphans. We made gifts of stuffed toys for the participants of the trip to an orphanage and hospital in St. Petersburg, and gifts for American friends.”
Orphan’s Tree Life Skills programs focus on building trusting relationships, meaningful activities, making wise choices, and understanding that God loves and cares for each participant.
Within the orphan community, there are young people with great leadership potential. We help them focus their energies, encouraging them to become positive role models and good leaders to their generation within their sphere of influence.
“It’s very interesting and important being a part of the leadership team. I met and helped many orphanage kids. My task is to try to help them find a better place in life. Participating in this program makes me ponder over my place in life.”
Orphan’s Tree Leadership Program assists older orphans in understanding that God has given them talents and abilities and in turn understand their responsibility to contribute to society and local communities.
Post-orphanage, most orphans are assigned to technical schools in urban areas. Typically, these teens become homesick for the simpler ways of rural life. The dacha provides quiet time in the country, providing orphans physical, emotional and spiritual encouragement through strong mentoring.
“Thank you for believing in me and loving me. I’m really glad to be a staff member of Orphan’s Tree team. Honestly, I never thought I would be working with orphans, so this was unexpected for me. The kids enjoy all the interesting things there are to do in the village that’s not available in the city such as going to the forest to gather mushrooms and berries, working in the garden, having pure water, cross-country skiing, and fresh air.
I really love kids, respect them, and try to help them so that they become comfortable in the village and in life in general. The kids also respect me and know that I want the best for them. The kids sometimes ask for advice, and I do my best to give the advice they need.”
– Masha P.
The greatest perceived need among older, at-risk orphans is their future housing. Some orphans receive an apartment from the government, often in poor condition. H4O provides assistance for orphans to improve their home through their own labor resulting in a safe, healthy environment. This program allows orphans to begin to build equity in their home.
Raised without a model of a stable family, many married orphans struggle in their relationships with their spouse and their children. Our young families program works to strengthen marriages and families by providing educational, emotional and spiritual support.
“I really appreciate this program; thanks to it I now spend more time with my family. I’ve learned to deal with conflicts and I am learning a lot of things that are helping me bring up my son.”
Orphan’s Tree Young Families Program leads young orphan couples through the maze of challenges inherent in marriage through educational, emotional, spiritual, and/or emergency support.
The lives of orphans are often tumultuous and sometimes tragic. To offer practical assistance in times of crisis, we maintain an Emergency Fund for Orphans. These funds can cover unexpected medical expenses, financial support for families in crisis and multiple expenses related to a death.
The Orphan’s Tree Emergency Fund is a tangible way to express God’s love when orphans encounter unexpected hardships.
In July 2015, Orphan’s Tree purchased four sheep and in partnership with First Baptist Tulsa, built a sheep barn. We hired two special needs young adult orphans as shepards. In addition to caring for the sheep, the orphans are learning and producing fiber arts. We plan on enlarging the flock and training other orphans to create wool products to be sold.
The sheep farm project provides employment, acquired fiber arts skills, and income from the sale of wool products.
The sustainability program involves orphans working with small business ventures to create income which supports ongoing ministry programs.