Lena was placed in an orphanage when she was just 4 years old. Her entire family was killed while riding a bus, but she survived.

lena and baby

Her orphanage wasn’t equipped to prepare her for adult life. It was a struggle to simply have enough food, clothing or even a bar of soap or toothbrush. Her formal education was minimal, with no opportunity to go to college or trade school. And she received no nurturing from adults who loved her. Caregivers were burdened with simply trying to take care of the physical needs of multiple children in the orphanage.

She was completely unprepared mentally and emotionally for life as an adult when she was told she had to leave the orphanage.

Like hundreds of thousands of orphans who age out of the system in Russia, Lena found herself living a dangerous lifestyle.

Most of her time was spent with other former orphans who were equally unprepared for life. Lena eventually found herself in a relationship with a young man who wasn’t so good. She became pregnant. Before she even had the baby, her boyfriend was sent to prison for rape. Lena found herself alone and trying to raise her baby Dima, with no income and no hope for a future. There was a high probability that her baby would be taken from her and put in an orphanage... a situation that is far too common in Russia.

But Lena is a fighter and she loves her son.


Fortunately, Allies was informed of Lena’s situation!

Our leader in that area, Nadya, helped Lena through the court case with the government and she won! Nadya is still by Lena’s side.

She was able to find other help for Lena through local churches and other volunteers.

2 pics

Allies Outcome & Results 2018


chrisburgin Message from Chris

Lena’s story is one that we see so often. Young people leave orphanages in Russia ill-equipped to simply... live. I hope that her story and these photos touch your heart and your soul. We are sharing Lena’s story with you because you make stories like this possible. Every single day. Thank you for your vital and vibrant support of Allies in Youth Development.

Your gifts provide critical, urgent care to not only young women and children like Lena and Dima,but also to children still living in orphanages.

Your gifts help women and children get back on their feet.

Your gifts provide for the physical needs of children in orphanages.

Your gifts provide tutoring for orphans so they can go to college or trade school so they have a way to provide for themselves.

Your gifts provide the resources so Russian volunteers can visit orphanages... mentor these children... and most importantly, LOVE them.

Without you, none of this is possible.

Your gifts are truly cherished and will be felt for generations to come.