Russia, November 8, 2019
The Russian Orthodox Church continues its social work and outreach for the protection of families, opening 4 shelters for pregnant women in crises situations in the span of one month.
One of the shelters, in the city of Volzshky in the Volgorod Province has already opened and is housing wards, while 3 more, in Orenburg, Nizhny Tagil, and Bratsk will also open this month, reports the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Service.
Most of the shelters are being opened with funds raised in churches throughout Russia for International Children’s Day last year. Funds were collected in particular for the prevention of abortion and to help women in difficult situations. The Synodal Department for Charity has directed the funds towards the creation of humanitarian aid centers, maternity protection centers, and shelters for mothers.
In all of the Church’s many shelters, pregnant women and women in crisis situations with children receive not simply temporary housing, but also receive assistance from priests, lawyers, and psychologists.
“The prevention of abortions, assistance to pregnant women on the verge of a choice is a priority of Church charity. As the long-term work of the Church shows, new shelters and maternity protection centers help to save the lives of children, and this happens literally every day,” said Maria Studenikina (Kolesnikova), head of Maternity Protection for the Synodal Department for Charity and director of the “House for Mother” of the Orthodox “Mercy” service.
Over the past 2 years, more than 1 million people have received comprehensive assistance in Church shelters and humanitarian centers. Assistance is provided free of charge, regardless of nationality and religion.
The new shelter in Volzhsky has three living rooms, a shower room, a bathroom, an ironing room and a kitchen-dining room. There are plans to expand the number of rooms and finish repairs to the premises, where in the future will be a sewing workshop. It will be able to provide women with employment and earnings for the first time.