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Orphans can have a hard time in Russia.  Brought up in institutions, they often lack both education and the social skills to survive in the outside world, after they grow up and “graduate” out of the orphanage. Life is difficult too for children who come from broken homes or who have learning difficulties and other disabilities.

Friends House Moscow helps to support organisations who are working with orphans, young people with learning difficulties, or other disadvantaged children and their families.

[Photo from: Big Change]

Big Change

The “Big Change” Educational Centre in Moscow focuses on social rehabilitation and social integration of Russian orphans.  Their programmes are designed to assist young people in adjusting to the life in the outside world, help them successfully integrate into society, and learn the skills of setting and achieving personal goals.  FHM supports Big Change with projects such as the “English Club” to boost learning skills and broaden horizons.

Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Support, Dzerzhinsk

The Centre is an educational establishment funded by the city council. Together with an NGO “Family and Law”, it has started a number of new initiatives to help families and children using seed funding from Friends House Moscow.  These include support for foster carers, for families at risk of their children being taken into care, and for children with learning difficulties.  A recent project aims to help disabled young people find employment.


“Circle” helps children and young adults with a wide range of mental and physical disabilities.  As well as other activities the Circle organisation is famed for drama therapy. Their mixed ability theatre company tours internationally, and in Moscow they host a drama festival for integrated theatre groups from all over Russia and from other countries.  FHM has given financial support to Circle in the past.