Lomonosov Baby Home Closing – Again!
It’s sad but true. After four months of effort, and nearly $75,000 poured into the restoration of the Baby Home to bring it up to fire code compliance, the government has now decided in mid-June to close the Baby Home after all and release the director and her 100+ staff that had served the children of this home.
In February of this year, the Fire Marshall received new guidelines for orphanages due to some fires in other parts of Russia that had killed some orphans. The government was going to close the facility and started moving kids. Antonia, the director, brought media attention to the problem and the Fire Marshall gave them 90 days to bring the building up to code. The community donated time, labor, materials and money to keep the Baby Home open. It was a spirit of volunteerism that I’ve never seen in Russia before! When I visited there in April, Antonia was happy and everything was working for the Home to re-open on June 1st. They had even begun to plan the 60 anniversary of the opening of this Baby Home in August. Then suddenly, the government decided not to have them re-open for reasons I don’t understand at this time. Antonia is still fighting this, but her last day on the job is June 30th. The rest of the staff will be released on August 1st. Now even the ten HIV babies will not be able to receive the best of care they once enjoyed. — John M. Neese