We knew that we wanted to work with orphanages in Russia from the beginning, but we also knew that combing the whole country for orphanages most in need would be a daunting task. Narrowing our focus area down to one of the 46 oblasts (regions) in Russia would allow us to get to know the culture of the region better and make a greater impact on the smaller area. We spent weeks researching the economy, stability, government, and culture of each region and we’re all excited to be working with the orphanages in Kirov. Kirov is far enough away from Moscow (655 miles) to have a sense of its’ own local government, yet close enough to the capitol to make it easier to access. The region has a healthy mix of cities and small little towns; representing a cross-section of Russia.
Bright Connections looks forward to expanding to other regions as the organization grows.
One of the greatest parts about working with Bright Connections has been talking with the orphanage principals and staff. Many of those who work at the orphanage see it as more than a job and it has really become a part of who they are. They go above and beyond what they are required to do and we have heard stories such as staff baking cakes at home for a child on their birthday so that they can have an extra special day that year. In many cases these staff are working with minimal resources to make sure the children are fed, clothed, and able to do attend school. The orphans see these staff as their family.
Bright Connections is able to help the staff at these orphanages by supplying the most needed supplies for them. We have learned the ins and outs of orphanages, what supplies they are most desperate for, and how best to help them through many conversations with staff at the orphanages.