There are over 500,000 orphans in Russia, most of whom have living parents who, for various reasons, are unable to take care of them. Only 10% of Russian orphanage graduates are able to fully adapt to independent life after leaving institutional care and only 2% enter universities compared with 45% of young people who grow up living with their families. Recently, the Government of the Russian Federation has initiated a reform process aiming to close down large orphanages, rehouse youth in smaller apartments or in foster families, integrate all orphans in community schools and institute transitional support for those 18 and over who leave the institutions to embark on independent life.
The Galaxy Fund was founded in 2010 and continues to be led by the staff of the Russian research-focused organization Stellit to serve as a program implementing partner of practical solutions aimed at changing lives of at-risk young people. The Galaxy Fund currently implements three major programs: 1) Effective adaptation and socialisation of orphaned children and youth; 2) Supporting the work of the Youth Volunteer Movement “You know the way? Do it your own way then…”; and 3) Combating commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Galaxy Fund is led by Dr. Olga Kolpakova a psychologist with over 20 years of experience in youth issues. Olga is now on maternity leave and in her absence Dr. Ksenia Eritsian, Head of Stellit’s Social Research Department is running the organisation.
EMpower’s 6th grant is supporting Galaxy Fund as it moves into a new stage of its development by shifting the focus of its youth program strategy to instituting child safeguarding policies and processes in various Russian Institutions, developing a commercial arm to improve fundraising, and documenting and disseminating the lessons from its successful volunteer movement.
Primary Location: St. Petersburg
Funded Since: 2013
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