The village of Lavrovo is situated just outside the city of Oryol. Approximately 217 miles south of Moscow, the region lies in the heart of Russia. Although the area has benefited from economic growth recently, an unequal distribution of wealth still affects many residents.
With a population of around 3,500 people, many of Lavrovo's residents commute to work in the city. Here the main employment is in lighting and engineering industries. Those who work closer to the village itself are mainly dependent on agriculture and farming. However, it remains a region with high unemployment, with many families struggling to take care of their children.
The combination of rising poverty and cutbacks in the health budget has caused many residents to suffer as a result of illness. In particular, a growing number of homeless people are becoming infected with tuberculosis. As this disease spreads, the situation is escalating at an alarming rate.
The number of cases of tuberculosis has prompted international health agencies to act. In partnership with local authorities, a project has been initiated to provide aid to those suffering from the disease. While providing a social and nutritional program, it has also become clear that many people were suffering from malnutrition. In particular many families were in need of food parcels so their children could have enough to eat.
The consequences of Chernobyl
To this day, residents all over the region continue to suffer in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. When the accident took place in 1986, many citizens in west Russia were exposed to high levels of radiation. Shortly after, a large number of citizens were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. To this day many children and young people are still suffering the effects of this disaster.
How we help in Lavrovo
We support many families and their children around Lavrovo. Our SOS social centre has been providing assistance to residents in the region since 2009. In addition to this, we also work alongside teachers and nursery managers to provide training programmes. Through these educational programmes, we aim to improve the quality of nurseries and public schools. We are helping schools provide extra tuition such as private tutoring.
When children have no one else
If in spite of our support, there are occassions when a child is still unable to stay with their family. In this situation a loving home can be found for them in our Children’s Village. Here, they can live in a comfortable environment, and enjoy the warm surroundings of one of our SOS families. There are many SOS families in the Childrens Village, each looked after and run by a fully trained SOS mother. Each mother in the village helps her children learn, play and grow alongside other children from the family.
We consider each child’s needs before placing them into our Village. We always make sure that siblings stay together, and children can mix with others of similar age and interest. Close to the Village, the children are also able to attend a youth workshop. Here they can interact and stay in touch with other children around the community.
As a child comes to the end of their time at our Village, they start to prepare for their future. With the support of their SOS mother they are able to choose various options from a special youth programme in Oryol. Here they have access to higher education and vocational training. While studying and living in this new accommodation, our students are able to prepare for a fully independent life.
Despite economic growth, uneven wealth distribution still affects many residents around Lavrovo. As long as they need us, we will continue to provide support to the area.