Sveta is 10 years old and has little parental supervision at home.
Her mother works long hours on a farm, and her stepfather left the country to try to earn a livable wage in Russia so that he could send money back to the family.
Because of her resulting behavioral issues, Sveta was bullied at school and often felt rejected by her peers, left to eat lunch alone and navigate her tumultuous home life with no social support.
14-year-old Polina had a similar story. She was raised in a dysfunctional family riddled with alcoholism, death and run-ins with local law enforcement. Her father passed away from substance abuse and her mother continued a cycle of violence. Polina and her siblings were often left to fend for themselves for meals and necessities.
Then, a Send Relief partner started a daycare center for underprivileged youth across seven local churches in the area.
Children and teens came to receive hot meals, get help with their homework, learn about the Bible and take “masterclasses” on various hobbies and life skills—all in the atmosphere of love and care that they were deprived of at home.
A local volunteer at the center commented, “We expect that this program will bring results soon—namely, an even greater change in these children’s lives for the better. After 140 children graduated from the center, we saw that it had a positive impact not only on them but also on their families: many parents have started attending church, and some are helping to run the center and start Bible study groups in their neighborhoods!”
Today, Sveta has transformed from an aggressive, wounded young girl to a calm, talented member of her local church. Polina started bringing her friends to the program and has become a front-row congregant, rain or shine. Her brothers also attend classes and have changed from being guarded, bashful students to confident, responsible assistants at the center, even joining the church worship band and inviting their other family members to services!
Because of your support, hundreds of underserved youth like Sveta and Polina not only went home with full bellies for the first time in months, but they also learned about the hope that Christ freely offers.
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