Bolshaya Peremena (Big Change)
Context: The situation for Russia’s 800,000 orphans and those who work with them is highly dynamic and has become politicized. The law prohibiting US nationals from adopting Russian orphans has unleashed a series of other changes as well.
Organization: Big Change (BC) was founded in 2002 by a group of teachers desiring to help orphanage graduates successfully integrate into society. BC works with orphans and orphanage graduates to obtain an education, choose a job path and gain the confidence and skills required for independence (such as resolving problems independently). BC collaborates with educators, social workers and other childcare professionals and volunteers to identify the most effective ways of supporting orphaned youth to realize their potential and become independent adults.
Current Grant: EMpower’s 5th grant to Big Change helps provide educational and transitional support to 25 young women and men in residential institution. Big Change will also document further the lessons from its programmatic practice and disseminate its approach through engagement with both key NGOs and institutions as well as government officials.