Family offers home comfort

Last year, four family-style orphanages opened in the Gomel Region

By Tatiana Bolgova

The orphanages were established in the Svetlogorsk and Zhlobin districts, in addition to the cities of Kalinkovichi and Rechitsa — funded by a state investment programme and regional budgets, alongside donations by Belarusbank and sponsors. The families are now raising around 40 children in fully equipped cottages, with furniture and children’s playgrounds.

Another foster family with seven children, from Gomel, moved to a new two-storey cottage last year, in the Novobelitsk District, funded by the city budget. Previously, the family had lived at a former orphanage for parentless children and those without parental care.

The Gomel Regional Executive Committee’s Education Department states that, in 2012, another four family-style orphanages are to open in the southern-eastern region of the country. One, in Korma (district centre), is to welcome its new hosts  very soon.

In recent years, 25 family-style orphanages have opened in the Gomel Region (including eight under the Children of Belarus state programme), housing over 180 children. As a result, traditional boarding schools for parentless children and those without parental care have closed in Gomel and Svetlogorsk. At the moment, about 5,000 orphans live in the region, but only 13 percent live in boarding schools; others are being raised by families (foster and guardian families or family-style orphanages).

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