Where We Serve
Child in Danger Shelter
“Child in Danger” is a one of a kind 20-bed facility in St. Petersburg that shelter’s children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. The shelter works with families, law enforcement, social agencies, and orphanages to protect children from harm. The children in this shelter are fed, clothed, and loved by the staff. They attend local schools and have the opportunity to attend church. The children also are given medical and psychological care to attend to their individual needs. The caregivers in the shelter attempt to work with the child’s family to help correct the problems that led to the child being abused, neglected, or abandoned. After all avenues have been exhausted, the child is either returned to the family or legally becomes a ward of the state and is sent to an orphanage. In too many cases, the problems cannot be resolved and the child will be removed from the family permanently for their own protection. Once placed in an orphanage, the child will stay in the institution until they are 18 years old. After age 18, state support stops and the child is on their own. The director of the shelter is employed by the state and is a member of a local Evangelical church. Nadezhda has a warm heart and deeply cares for each of the children. The kids will come and go depending on their situation, but Nadezhda keeps up with them after they leave the shelter, even the lucky few that are adopted. The government funds the Child-in-Danger shelter, however Russian social agencies are only getting about 10% of the amount given to them during the Soviet era. This shelter is heavily dependent on donations of food and clothing by local schools, churches, and foreign ministries to meet the needs of children in their care.
This state-run shelter is also for children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Some kids are street children that have been removed from the streets for their protection. Depending on an individual child’s situation, they may be quarantined from other children at the shelter until a period of time has past that would prevent others in the shelter from being infected. SAC has visited this shelter in April of 2006 and 2007. The director is open to our visits when we have team members that will be willing to come to them.
Children’s Hospital #15
This is 130-year-old hospital that treats children from shelters and orphanages along with street children. Some children are abandoned at this hospital and will be eventually moved to an orphanage. Some children have problems like diabetes or are wheel chair bound. These children will stay at the hospital and will be educated there. Likely they will never leave due to their ailment. Public schools and orphanages do not have the medical expertise to handle diabetics or those in wheel chairs. Other children taken off the street may have lice, hepatitis A, B or C, has tetanus, or need to be isolated for being suspected of some disease. This is a 60-bed facility. The upper floors have recently been renovated. The director of the hospital is a Christian. The hospital has been visited and supported by high officials from the countries of Sweden and Norway.
This is an orphanage with 74 boys and girls ages 6-16. The majority of the children are teenagers. Almost 75% of them are social orphans. A social orphan is a child whose parents can’t afford to take care of them, so they have turned them over to the state. In November 2002, the orphanage director passed away in his office at the orphanage. The new director was much more receptive to receiving gifts and letting groups come in. In April 2003, SAC was the first Christian ministry team to ever come in and run a weeklong VBS program after school. Bible studies and ESL classes are beginning to occur during the school year. SAC visited this orphanage once a year until 2007.
This is an orphanage or “internat” is an orphanage and school combined. They had over 110 children on our first visit to them in April of 2007. This was a very rough orphanage prior to SAC beginning visits there. In 2006 staff changed and renovations began to occur. This seemed to improve the outlook of the children. The Children’s director is very friendly and very open to our visits. The orphanage now has about 75 children, but it still takes a large SAC mission team to minister to all these kids. This orphanage is near the Lomonosov Metro Station.
Sosnovo Day Center
As part of the outreach of the Sosnovo Baptist church the church began a Day Center run by Youth for Christ for at-risk children in the community. These children may come from abusive, alcoholic, or neglectful homes. After school, children come to the Day Center and receive help with their homework, a meal, time to play, and lessons from God’s Word. There are about 20 children that participate at any one time at the day center. The children love the interaction with adults that care. The adult helpers are Christians and members of the church. SAC began working with this Day Center in April of 2006 in conjunction with Pastor Slava and the Sosnovo Baptist Church.
The village of Sosnovo is about 60km north of St. Petersburg and has a small orphanage for about 45 children from infant to about 12 years old. They are divided into 3 groups of infants, preschoolers, and school aged children. There are about 15 kids in each group. This is a fun loving group of kids! The babies just want to be held as most of their time is spent in a crib unless they are being changed or fed. The preschoolers are anxious to play and love to follow the older kids. The school-aged children are always anxious to go outside and play or come inside to participate in a craft activity or attentively listen as a Bible story is told. This orphanage doesn’t receive the same kind of services that orphanages inside the city get. The director is friendly and welcomes our group. SAC began working with this orphanage in April of 2006 to further the outreach of the Sosnovo Baptist Church. In April 2008, the orphanage began a slow transition to a Kindergarten facility.
Lomonosov Baby Home
This baby home is in the town of Lomonosov about 50km west of St. Petersburg. This baby home is for orphan children from infant to about 6 years old. There are 130 children in this orphanage divided into 12 groups. One group of babies has been exposed to the HIV virus due to drug use by their parents. The building is a mansion built by a Russian Admiral in the 1870s. Some of the orphanage was renovated by a group of Christians in 2001. The children of this baby home need to be held and loved. The staff needs help relief and encouragement. The director is very friendly and open to groups to help and spend time with these kids. SAC began working with this baby home in October of 2006 in conjunction with Pastor Andre and the Lomonosov Baptist Church as part of their social outreach program. Unfortunately, the government closed this Baby Home permanently in August 2009.
Lomonosov Children’s Hospital
About a 5 minute walk from the Lomonosov Baptist Church, SAC began working there in October of 2006 as a further outreach for the church. This small hospital has about 5-8 children at any one time. These kids are from the community and the surrounding area and are there due to some sickness they have. Most kids are able to join us in the activities and are anxious to do something. In Russia, it is normal to confine a child to a hospital to recover from common ailments where American doctors would have the child convalesce at home. We are given about an hour to do crafts, sing, and share a story from the Bible.
Petrohof Boys School
SAC had one 40-minute period with one group of at-risk kids in October of 2008. This is about a 15-minute drive from Lomonosov. The fire alarm went off, but the doors seemed to be opened for us to come as an extension from the Lomonosov Baptist Church. SAC worked their first week in this Boys School in October of 2009, and the fire alarm went off 4 times in 5 days! It was rough to organize, but the kids and staff enjoyed our visit and had never had anyone visit them before. God has begun a work in this place.
Lomonosov Social Hotel
In October 2009, SAC was introduced to this Social Hotel for abused and neglected children. It is much like a shelter, but it is a temporary facility for children until they are moved to a shelter or orphanage. This new facility opened in late 2008 has a capacity of about 15 children. These kids ranged in age from 6-16. Most were younger children anxious to do things with our team. As another ministry site in Lomonosov through the Lomonosov Baptist Church, SAC has been invited to return and spend time with these children. This is also a 5-minute walk from the church.
Lomonosov Good Samaritan Drug Rehab Center
In the summer of 2008, the Lomonosov Baptist Church began hosting a Drug Rehab program at their church. The Good Samaritan ministry organized the program and the church begun hosting them. Eight young women lived on the third floor of the church in a strict schedule of Bible study, prayer, meals and chores. The young ladies were transferred to another city in September of 2009 and replaced by 8 men. SAC does relational ministry with these men to encourage them in their walk with Christ and their road to recovery.
Road of Life Transition Home
This is a two-year residential program for graduate orphan boys and girls. A Christian lady, who came home one night to find a young girl curled up on her doorstep asleep, began this ministry. She took her in and one by one began taking in other graduate orphans with no place to go. The Road of Life uses American couples and single ladies to serve as mentors for a minimum of 9-12 months. SAC volunteers have helped to teach life skills including how to share their testimony and use a study Bible. SAC continues to help this transition home; it’s residents and former residents.
The Harbor Transition Home
This is a two-year residential program for graduate orphan girls and boys ages 16+ that have been released by the orphanage and state support. This was a ministry of Organization MIR until 2003 when they became their own Russian based charity organization. The founder is an American who saw the need and the statistics of orphans who left orphanages unprepared to face the adult decisions when all their needs were taken care of before. The Harbor uses Russian and American mentors that work in shifts to live at the Transition Home apartments to work with the young adults. One of their board members is a former orphan who now works in the United States and gives tremendous insight into the lives and vulnerability of living as an orphan. SAC volunteers teach life and job skills so they can live on their own and not become one of the 90% of graduate orphans who end up in crime, prison, prostitution, drug addiction, homeless or dead from suicide.
Orphan Dorm #35
Dormitory 35 is one of the hardest sites in St. Petersburg. This is where you go when some graduate from an orphanage. These graduate orphans have nothing. There are three young people to each room that has three single beds, two or three straight-back chairs, and one desk. Many of the kids are disabled, either physically or mentally, and no one cares whether they wake up in the morning, or whether they return home at night. More than half of them will simply disappear. They just vanish, and no one looks for them. They just hold the bed open for a few months and then give it to someone else. SAC began visiting there in March of 2008.
Orphan Dorm #70
This dorm is much like other orphan dorms. Some kids have a technical school to go to. Others have a job. Still others have neither and live on the streets rather than return to this assigned dorm. SAC began visiting this dorm in March of 2008.