Volunteer for orphans: Mike firmly believed that I stole his camera

Neither the repair nor the beautiful toys they can not erase the feeling of “security object” from a place where these children live where there is no snuggle. in the morning, family gatherings around a common table, where every child for himself, no family, no friends, only competitors. Olga Sidorova, a volunteer of the charitable Foundation “Volunteers in help to children-orphans” – the difference between help and “personal growth”, why not to be afraid to help through the funds, and what can be done even if the question “will you take me here?” you can only answer “No, my good man, I can only come and spend time with you…”

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Do not confuse help with the need to feel good

Olga Sidorova

For a long time I had a very vague idea about who are the volunteers. It was incomprehensible to the people who were running in t-shirts with symbols of different organizations, waving flags or balloons, and something excitedly talked about the goodness, mercy, and peace in the world. The world of philanthropy was far and strange, my altruistic impulses enough just to translate a feasible amount of money for urgent treatment of the child by sending an SMS.

Now, having the experience of volunteer work, I understand the desire to help and using a personal involvement are two different vectors of goal setting.

The desire to help is probably not even a desire, and a need to feel needed, important, involved in a good cause – good. There’s a pretty popular technique coaches “life balance wheel” in different variations of this wheel several sectors, one of which may be called “personal development”, “charity” or “spiritual growth” and so on – that’s all the conversation about the desire to help and be useful.

Assistance of personal involvement – that’s another story, about the resources and willingness to share these resources, it is not always just about materials, although they certainly play a significant role. Timing resource, emotional resource is no less than the opportunity to help financially, in my opinion, much harder to help, taking a direct part in the events, it requires much more involvement and personal inputs.

Already in the process of preparation for the volunteer activities I read a lot specialized forums, where they discussed topics such as adoption assistance children living in children’s homes, the problems of orphans they encounter in everyday life. Quite often members of the forum heard the phrase, “I have the material (or things, or personal hygiene…) – because I’m not ready/not ready to come to the orphanage/hospital and see the children abandoned by their parents, look them in the eye; I’m upset, I’m afraid I won’t be able to endure psychologically; I’m afraid to hear the question: “are you my mother/my father?”…

Fear to face someone else’s pain, his own impotence, the fear to see the things that definitely do not want to see. Fear becomes the main obstacle that people are not willing to overcome, not ready to go beyond the intelligible world to start using personal involvement.

She waited all this “training” – but after the first meeting, the Fund never saw her again

Last summer, aimlessly flipping through a news feed on Facebook and looking at summer photos of friends, I saw someone of my friends repost the announcement of a charitable organization for volunteers. I still can’t explain why I then sent a request, it was a kind of insight, the conviction that I must do what I need. From this point we’re down to my volunteer work.

I am a systems person and it is important to understand the cause-and-effect relationship what I’m doing, in what framework and for what I do. Before I came to the Fund “Volunteers in aid to children-orphans”, I only had vague feelings and not quite clear needs to help those who are weak and in need of human warmth and support.

But when there is no coordinate system, all the impulses and desires turn into a kind of “letter to the village of my grandfather”.

The Fund, which I joined, very well-built work with those who wish to become volunteers. Our volunteers are people who received training, attended a certain number of seminars. They have an understanding of what children need to run, which can cause children to be features: the nature, development, behavior, how to build communication with children, not to harm, not strengthen injuries, which to a greater or lesser extent have all children in orphanages, what is permissible and what is totally unacceptable in dealing with orphans, how to build relationships to maintain personal boundaries.

The event is for volunteers of the Fund “Volunteers in aid to children-orphans” (www.otkazniki.ru)

In the process of training people who understand that this activity is not really their direction, leave the project. I remember one woman at the workshop – she came to the workshop one of the first, everyone told me how she waited for this “training”, delivered to him the evening and what is an important activity, but after the first meeting, the Fund never saw her again….

Training of volunteers is a very important process in any Fund and NGOs, not to an already traumatized children got random people. Volunteers must stay and work people with a high level of empathy and a clear internal motivation.

I was greeted by the smell of garlic knocks

After the training, interviews with a psychologist and passing all necessary health tests, I have decided for myself that I will work in the mentoring program, that is going to go to one of the Moscow Centers for the promotion of family education (the HCSO – now called children’s homes), to a specific child, it remains only to wait when will find the child, who at this point in time a volunteer is needed. After about a week of waiting, I called my coordinator and said insinuating voice:

– There is a boy who is very upset that his friend from the walking group volunteer, and to him – no. True the boy has a characteristic, he may try to get you in the bag, precedents… If that does not scare you…

I agreed, because pre-made the decision that I’m not in the market, and the child is not the subject of trades. No matter what his skin color, nationality, particularly development, group health, I go to the child who lives in a government institution, and is, by definition, cannot be a place for the organic development and growth. I’m going to baby that there really is a traumatic experience, attachment disorder, well, there are no other children in the orphanages, I’m going there not for my own entertainment, and to even slightly make the life of this particular child richer and more interesting.

To be honest, I was preparing for the worst, in my understanding of the HCSO and the prison seemed about in one way: the fence, the grey building, security.

In fact, it turned out that there is a fence and security, but there are also well-kept grounds surrounding the building, across the walking area there are figures of fairytale characters, clean, recently renovated building with large plastic Windows. At least, when I saw that the inmates live in good conditions, my excitement subsided a bit.

First came boy I’m not surprised, he was in school. In the group I met knocks the smell of garlic, it was autumn and in the diet of the children were given a half-clove to strengthen the immune system.

We talked with the teacher, talked about the features of my ward, exchanged contacts, entire group was clean, new furniture, but I realized that it’s all official, not native. Now I do not remember exactly what we said and in what context the teacher said that the children live here (meaning in the orphanage) in the conditions of fierce competition against each other, competing for attention, praise, personal space.

On the way home I thought, that neither repair nor beautiful toys can not erase the feeling of “sensitive sites” from the place where these children live where there is no snuggle. in the morning, family gatherings around the table where no offense is reconciliation, but only the state of shared tension, persistent stress, when the child is alone, no family, no friends, only competitors.

Photo: “Volunteers to help orphans” (www.otkazniki.ru) / Facebook

“This is my volunteer arrived”

In your next visit I finally met “his baby.” He is alive and sincere, when we were introduced to each other, the first question was: “what did you bring me candy?”, and he immediately turned around my bag rather in my bag. I quietly approached him and gently took his hand, looked him in the eye and said, “I promise that we’re going to discuss in advance what you’d like, but you must agree that personal things are personal, and without permission we in the bag do not climb”. He frowned, but understood. Personal boundaries have been delineated.

Then half the staff of this orphanage, not once warned me about its features, and examples cited, but he never got into my bag – why? I’m with him, I carefully listen to him, communicate, don’t need the extra time to do something to draw my attention.

Began a period of habituation to each other, it showed that waiting for me, she ran away without a word and met not healthy. I would understand, but afraid to get used to the fact that I come, if you suddenly throw to come – will not hurt. Took me by the hand around the building of the HCSO and all the counter guys and the staff loudly told: “this is my volunteer arrived.” Now name calling, and I again understood how it important it came, he was singled out, he is better than others because not to Pete or Bob arrived, and to him.

Candy that I brought, with the permission of the caregivers, almost always, and all were distributed to other inmates. I, frankly, still not quite used to it, for me, the level of domestic cleanliness that the child is not hidden, not “stashed” under the pillow, and shared.

Was checking for lice: “And get me the phone, earphones, PI-es-PI……”, saying no is not easy, but can not lie, never, under any circumstances.

Can’t come – explain why you can’t buy – you have to explain why. It was very difficult to honestly answer his question “And you take me out of here?” “No, my good man, I can only come here and spend time with you…”

He believed that I stole his camera

Trust is not easy to earn, and earning, as hard as you can to try not to lose it. In one of my visits, in the winter, we went to walk around the site, he was holding the camera. Don’t know where he found it, an old film camera, we first took him to my bag in order not to lose, then again pulled, and then removed several times, until they suddenly found out what’s in the bag it is not.

The boy’s panic: he strongly believes that I stole his camera, leaves me no choice as to sit in the gazebo in front of him on his haunches and shake out all the contents of her bag on the snow… And then give him explore his bag that he was personally convinced that there is this stupid camera. He was convinced, but still not believe, suspects that I’m still somewhere stashed away… after Collecting all my things and biting them back in the bag, we begin to ransack the entire territory of the HCSO in search of the camera. Thank God, he is on one of the benches.

Misha first time in several months that we know each other, hugging and kissing me. I’m at a loss.

After this incident I began to afford tactile contact Pat him on the head, hugged her, a hug. I used to feel like he wasn’t ready, but after this incident, the barrier was gone. Now if we sit and read a book or just talking, I always try to put his arm around her, I physically feel him relax. Mike is actually a very gentle boy, tender, a pity that in the conditions of life in the orphanage these qualities no opportunity to open up.

Before you begin the ride to the orphanage, I took a blessing from the priest, I’m sure it helps me and my mentee. In the lobby, where we periodically allowed to communicate, hangs a large icon of Jesus Christ, I believe that it is not a coincidence, without faith in something is difficult to live.

Now I set myself two goals: to bring Misha to the Dolphinarium – dolphins like him, and do everything that depends on me to find him a family, prior arrangement with the management of the HCSO is already there.

Room 2 is his room, without options

Of course, volunteers face challenges when they begin to regularly visit the children. Each has its own story, for me the main difficulty was to build up contact with caregivers. I just do not was able to plan in advance where and what will I have to work out with Misha.

One tutor could allow me to stay in the group, and then the boy is sculpted from clay, and another said that the group is not suggested to sit us in the locker room – then we read books. A third might offer to sit in the lounge on the sofa and all anything, but the hall is practically a part of the corridor, and for him all the time someone walks, so you have to make effort to turn off the attention from the constantly passing by of staff and pupils.

In the end, I started carried a “convenience kit” is a book, coloring, playdough, flashcards with numbers, Twister, and, depending on the situations, reach one or the other thing, which is more suited for lessons in every situation.

Photo: “Volunteers to help orphans” (www.otkazniki.ru) / Facebook

After talking with other volunteers, I eventually realized that I have not the worst situation. A familiar volunteer from another of the HCSO said that it is already the third month deals with the child only in the presence of a caregiver, and someone brought children into a tiny room, and in principle is not very clear had something to do with the child…

Every person there are moments when he wants to be alone with yourself, but in the walls of the HCSO is almost impossible to do.

Caregivers are responsible for children, children must be supervised at all times, even if they go to the toilet or to the bathroom. In the group all together, breakfasts-Lunches-dinners – all the, bedroom General, there are personal lockers, but they are shaking up periodically and check. Personal space is not in principle.

I once was asked to wash my hands after we worked with clay. In the bathroom baby towels and dish soap are numbered – that is, the child just knows that, for example, the number 2 is its number. Of course, personal tastes, such as in color choices or preferences in clothes of the question either. Given that and wear.

Is it any wonder that children brought up in orphanages don’t know what they like and what not. Don’t know what they want, not uncommon that children cannot understand, whether they are or not, they are not taught to listen to their desires. Is the word “must” and mode, which must be adhered to. These children do not belong to themselves, they don’t feel “alive” they always decide everything, they have no “rights” to Express emotions. Begin to Express themselves – can attack penalties, you must be obedient, comfortable. No wonder that after the release from the HCSO, the children are in bad companies and begin to lead asocial way of life. They can’t say “no” because you don’t know what to say no to and what Yes.

Want to help directly? But hospitals and centers will not let you pass beyond the threshold

I often hear the opinion, the claim that people do not want to contact any organizations and wants directly to help a particular child. Usually it ends by holivar in comments under posts on Facebook, and the matter goes no further.

But, donating money to a particular Fund, have the opportunity to donate to a specific child, putting in a comment money transfer, for whom the donation is intended. In any case – any Fund with a positive reputation leads report, which is in the public domain: how much money it is, how much is spent and on what.

Not everyone understands that if you have the desire to help personal participation – presence, without the patronage of the charitable Foundation or NGO, which necessarily concluded the cooperation agreement, none of the hospitals or the HCSO will not let you pass beyond the threshold of your institution.

If the question is: as a volunteer at any charitable organization can do – need to come out of how much an organization exists, and what about it there are reviews in the media. Believe me, reputation in one day-the year is not earned.

If the future of those STUMPS, why do we need all these dances with tambourines, volunteers?..

There are volunteers and crises, burnout, when it becomes unclear, why bother to continue volunteering. I remember the crisis very well.

Before the New year, Mike brought me in on a rehearsal for new year performance. I looked at children of different ages from 6-7 years old, almost already decorated for boys and girls 15-16 years old, and suddenly began to realize that I “covers”. Felt a wave of some kind of hopelessness, I asked myself the questions “why are you here?” “the real benefits from the fact that I come here?”, “my visit can change the future of Misha?”.

Photo: “Volunteers to help orphans” (www.otkazniki.ru) / Facebook

A girl of 15 in butterfly costume something danced and read poems, and I looked and realized that it’s not a baby, it is almost decorated the woman, and beside her a boy who is almost already a man. And what will happen next? They can give their children? Well, if the orphan after coming of age will receive the location of the apartment from the state – although it is not so simple and straightforward, and just put and “guaranteed”.

Will be able to socialize outside the walls of the HCSO? Great if there is a person that will help, or they will find the resources to not break down and remain in society. And if not, if the future of those STUMPS?

Why do we need all these dances with tambourines, volunteers who come once or twice a week, while the solution can only be one thing – to pull the child out of the system, to pick up a family – to love, to warm, to socialize…

To overcome this crisis, I was able with the help of the coordinator’s direction (after all, psychological supervision volunteers needed) that the psychologist, and once upon a time read the tendryakova story “Bread for the dog”. The main idea of this story is etched in my memory probably for the rest of my life is impossible to help everyone, but you can choose someone to help him.

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