“They offered to send my child to an orphanage…”
In 2020, your support ensured that 48 children were not at risk of being taken to an orphanage. This is just one story.
Olya and her siblings always felt unwanted by their mother, and their needs went unmet. At fourteen, Olya left home, and her mother moved to another city.
Olya is a social orphan. Unlike many of our Stop the Cycle moms, she couldn’t request the kind of help given to those with official orphan status.
When she became pregnant, Olya lost her place at a hostel. She moved in with her abusive boyfriend, who later kicked her out into the cold with her baby. After one night with a neighbor, then a maximum stay of three months in a city crisis center, she had no place to go. Without childcare she couldn’t work. She received just enough from the state for diapers and formula.
Olya was desperate. She recently shared about that time:
“Social services offered to send my child to an orphanage for a while until I was on my feet. It was like a terrible sentence for me. It was so painful to imagine that my girl would be in the orphanage while I was improving my life. Then the director of the center told me there is one more little hope…”
Oksana Pankyeyeva took the phone call from the center, and quickly planned to welcome Olya and little Sasha at the Shelter.
“I was so happy that my girl would stay with me and I would have a chance to become the best mother for her. To be better than my biological mom. At the Shelter, they helped me arrange a single mother’s stipend from the state. They’ve supported me in difficult times and continue to always support and teach.”
Olya is hard-working and optimistic, interested in everything, and learning to be a great mom. We got to celebrate Sasha’s 2nd birthday together in December. It’s a gift to witness the blossoming of this little family!