Keeping kids off streets
Underprivileged children are generally left to wander the streets until late at night, and have easy access to cheap alcoholic, tobacco and toxic substances – beer is cheaper than Coca-Cola, cigarettes are cheaper than candy bars, and shop owners will rarely ask for ID.
Our main focus at Love’s Bridge is to keep kids off the streets and make sure they’re busy doing something they enjoy. Other than Love’s Bridge there is a total lack of organized, affordable activities for these children in Perm. We offer a wide range of free activities, trips and excursions, and work with local authorities to identify the children who are most in need of help.
At Love’s Bridge kids can learn computer skills, play sports, develop their creative side, or just sit and talk about what’s on their minds. The highlights of the year include rafting and camping trips in the Ural mountains, especially for those who wouldn’t otherwise leave the city.
We develop a sense of community in our centers, and the children respond by reciprocating the respect and trust we show them. They take responsibility for their actions, and understand that life in our centers depends just as much on them as it does on the Love’s Bridge staff and volunteers. It is then that the children and teenagers really start to learn and develop.
What the kids say…
“During the activities we learn lots of new things about ourselves. Recently we analyzed our weaknesses. I realized that we all have imperfections and I can resolve them and make life easier”
“The centre is really different from school, where I often get into a bad mood. When I come here, my mood immediately improves! I really like the way the staff treat us. The activities are all interesting and there are always lots of people to hang out with.”
“I came here to take part in the Independent Living course two years ago and have been coming ever since. I learned a lot about myself! I like spending time here because I can relax and no-one forces anyone to do anything. We can sit and hang out and chat. I get on with the staff – they talk with us and understand us.”
“No one yells at you here, you learn because you want to! The atmosphere is pleasant. You can talk to people and they listen. The activities are all fun and we learn new things. And we meet new people from all over the world.”