Building and Nurturing Friendship inside the Orphanage

It is often a challenge for children to build and maintain friendships inside orphanages. Things like competition, betrayal, and transfers are commonplace and create natural barriers between the kids. Many orphans prefer being alone and do not want to make friends with the other children.

We often quickly recognize these rifts, so we took advantage of our recent trip to an orphanage in Minsk, to teach children about the value of friendship and God’s teaching to be a faithful friend, to treat others the way we want to be treated.

During our visit, we played games with the children, talked to them, and narrated some stories. Through these activities, we created an atmosphere of friendship and love. We taught them the basics of social relations, that no child should ever be bullied or rejected.

We also baked pizza with the children, which was served to them afterwards. They were happy to experience new things and acquire new knowledge that we know will benefit them as they grow older.

Milana, who has been volunteering with Allies for 3 years now, shared, “I really thought they would not be able to understand me since many of the children do not speak and are very shy. But this is only externally. In fact, they are intellectually reserved, and I know deep in my heart that everyone understood. I can see them listening intently, singing along with the songs, paying attention to the stories, and also joining the prayers.”

One of the orphans that caught our attention was Artem, a 17-year-old boy who is in a wheelchair. His parents left him in the orphanage when he was young because of his cerebral palsy. Despite his disability, his desire to learn is huge and impressive. He dreams of becoming a fireman someday to be a friend to those in need and to help those who may be in danger. Artem considers himself to be a watchman to those around him. We were inspired by Artem’s courage and character!

Want to be a friend to orphans and foster children? It’s easy and fun to help these precious children. Here are several ways you can help.