Special Program Targets Communication Skills in Orphans

An unstable home deprives children of opportunities to develop skills at a normal pace. Through special programs, Allies strives to fill specific gaps so that no orphan will be left behind.

Volunteers in Omsk this fall implemented activities that were geared towards building and sharpening the children’s communication skills. The program focused on key areas, including gestural language (non-verbal communication) and being responsive.

As a warm-up, they sat in a circle and clapped their knees in quick succession to form – and sustain – a wave. Afterwards, the volunteers split up the children into three teams to better manage the tasks, one of which helps hone quick-thinking and providing speedy responses. The volunteers would throw different toys or objects to the children, and whoever catches it should be able to correctly name it. Another activity had the children go through and discuss contrasting topics stated on cue cards.

Vitya, a sprightly 9-year-old boy, greatly benefits from communication programs like this. He and two of his siblings are now living at the orphanage, away from their parents, both of whom are struggling with alcoholism. Vitya, whose reading skills are far behind for his age, attends a special needs school together with his older sister.

Despite the challenges he and his siblings are facing, Vitya is kind and highly motivated. For now, the orphanage and school are able to provide just enough for him to improve and grow. We will continue to check on his (and the other children’s) progress from time to time, and, with the unwavering support and generosity of our partners, do what we can to give additional assistance should the need arise.