Their mom’s suicide changed everything. Here’s how they found hope again.


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.

Though it’s been a few years since their mother killed herself, they still catch their breath, feel sick and dizzy, and need to remind themselves to breathe. They can say it out loud now. She killed herself. She hung herself in front of us. 

For three years, brothers Igor, 10, and Sasha, 12, could not even talk. They would go to bed and cover themselves with a blanket, bodies clenched into a ball. They wanted to know every fact with everything they saw because they didn’t have the one thing they wanted – the why.

Even more than accidental death, suicide generates horror, anger, shame, confusion, and guilt—all feelings that can overwhelm a child. Igor and Sasha felt all of these – but particularly guilt – after their mother died, and they worried that they did something to cause her death. They said, Allies mentors met these two hurting hearts at an orphanage and showered love and gentle attention on them. They brought them under their wing and nurtured their suffering souls and made sure Igor and Sasha knew they did nothing wrong. The suicide was definitely not their fault. It had nothing to do with anything they said or did.

Allies mentors provided simple and honest answers to their questions and made them know that their feelings are acceptable.

Anger, shame, confusion, and guilt about a mother or a father who committed suicide is normal, and it doesn’t mean a betrayal of your love for that person or the terrible loss you may be feeling.


Now the children are recovering from their traumatic past.

They play more with other children and are establishing the foundations for their social and emotional learning.


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Allies mentors strive to show them love and hope during each visit by playing with them and feeding them. They give them food, presents, toys, hugs, and smiles. They take them out on weekends and are teaching them how to live life again and how to see the good in this world. Recovering from such a traumatic event like Igor and Sasha experienced is difficult. It takes many years and many hugs and words of encouragement from supportive friends and mentors. Even though healing occurs, Allies mentors understand things will never be the same for these two and are committed to helping Igor and Sasha long-term.

We are so grateful for your support and partnership in showing children like Igor and Sasha that people care and want to help and will walk this difficult road with them.

Allies Outcome & Results 2019


chrisburgin Message from Chris

Igor and Sasha’s story is one that we see often. It is a story of tragedy, darkness, and despair. But thanks to you, these boys can now smile despite what they’ve been through. Because of you, they are now experiencing love and have hope for a brighter future. 

You are making it possible for successful stories like Igor and Sasha’s to take place every single day. Thank you for your vital support of Allies in Youth Development.

Your gifts provide critical, urgent care to many in need including orphans and single mothers.

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

Your gifts provide for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of children in orphanages. 

Your gifts allow tutoring for orphans so they can go to college or a trade school which allows them to support themselves. 

Your gifts get the needed resources to volunteers who visit orphanages, mentor 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.