New Volunteers Bond Well with the Children

A visit to an Orphanage is a life-changing experience as it is filled with emotion and sentiments. We were lucky to get an opportunity to recently visit an Orphanage with several volunteers from Universities in Russia and the United States.

Our visit to the orphanage was nothing like we ever could have imagined. We were expecting a really challenging and upsetting environment, but we were surprised. Although the children come from very difficult backgrounds, in many children it is far from obvious. Over the two days we spent at the orphanage we were able to get to know the most amazing group of children.

The love, laughter and cuddles that these children were able to give and receive was nothing like we have ever experienced before, and it really hit us in the heart that real joy comes not from material items or having the money to be able to do great things, but instead from the people we surround ourselves with and those we help and serve.

We brought food, cold drinks, books, chocolates, pens, etc. with us to share with the children. Everyone kicked back, relaxed and enjoyed the day, which also included soccer and other games.

Jani, Olesya and Lisa, 1st-year-college students along with Alina, a 2nd-year-college student, were visiting with us for the first time and connected really well with the children. Their friendly personalities and open communication styles helped the kids open up quickly.

These new volunteers showed great respect for the kids, really listening and responding in a sensitive way to the children. We were impressed, and I think it’s safe to say, we have some new mentors on our team!

On a not-so-positive note, we were told about some children being returned to the orphanage after being released to family.

Ilya is a 12-year-old boy with no siblings. His aunt was excited about adopting him, but after a few months ago she returned him, saying she could not handle him anymore.

Ilya is a well-behaved and intelligent boy. He has been very responsive and active with the Allies volunteers in all activities. He has poor eyesight, but this doesn’t seem to be bothering him. We have invited Ilya to be a part of our tutoring program.

After visiting the orphanage you start appreciating the little things in life because you see people who don’t have them. Only at such times do you realize what really matters in this life – helping those in need.

We felt extremely fortunate for all that we have been blessed with, and hope to extend these things and more to these little ones who have not had them.