Putin's Orphans

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Foreign Policy Research Institute has a blog post about the horrific situation inside Russia's orphanages, and about how Putin's adoption ban in late 2012 has doomed many children to a life without a family inside the Russian institutions.

C.O.A.T.S. International exists to serve those children in residential care and to keep moms and babies together so children never have to see the inside of an orphanage.

Happy International Women's Day

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day.  The holiday is celebrated much more in Russia than in the United States. C.O.A.T.S. International celebrates women and young mothers today, especially those mothers who are in difficult life situations and participate in the programs we support in Moscow and throughout Russia. 

If you would like to learn more about C.O.A.T.S. International's programs to help women, check out our apartment ministry here.

The culture of abandonment in the former USSR

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Here is a story about a father, from New Zealand, who chose to keep his son (born with Down Syndrome), despite pressure from the Armenian officials for him to abandon the child to the state. His wife, an Armenian, refused to touch the baby in order to avoid becoming attached to him.

This story highlights several points, which are at the heart of C.O.A.T.S. International's mission:
1) The Soviet mentality that the state is a better caretaker for children - particularly for disabled children - than parents persists today.
2) Officials in former Soviet countries continue to pressure parents to abandon their children.
3) The entire former Soviet Union lacks the resources and programs to help parents keep their babies.
4) Programs for disabled children in these countries are horribly lacking. 

For more information about this crisis, UNICEF has a very thorough report documenting the lack of resources or options for parents of disabled children. 

Christmas party for vulnerable children

Friday, January 09, 2015

C.O.A.T.S. International sponsored a Christmas party for vulnerable children, former orphans, and the "moms and baby" program in the Moscow centers. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the Christmas parties!

Merry Christmas in Russia!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Tomorrow, January 7th, is the day Russian Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.  It's also the day C.O.A.T.S. and the orphanage and children's centers will celebrate the holiday. This year, through your generous donations, C.O.A.T.S. is hosting Christmas parties for vulnerable children and young, single mothers. 

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!  Thank you for all of your support in 2014! 

Thank You Note from Moscow

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dear C.O.A.T.S. International,

Many thanks for the help provided to us in such a difficult moment! When you have no parents and no relatives and really no place to turn to in difficult situations, the type of help your organization provided is very important and necessary.  The money you gave us is exactly what we needed.  I was able to purchase baby food, some supplies for the baby (diapers, shampoo, etc), and children's clothing (which is so expensive!).  Thank you again for everything you have done for us!

Meet Alisa

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alisa and her son Phillip

Alisa's story is very common among young, teenage mothers in Russia.  She lived with her family - her mother and step-father - until the age of 11.  Due to the fighting and domestic abuse at her house, her parents were deprived of their parental rights and she was forced to live in a series of temporary housing situations, including a boarding home and an orphanage. She gave birth to Phillip at the age of 17.

Alisa, and other women in similar situations, rely on the support of local charities in Moscow to help with the many financial needs she and the baby have.  

C.O.A.T.S. International supports the Moms and Babies center in Moscow where Alisa and Phillip get emotional and financial support.

Meet Alexandra

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Galina was neglected and abused as a child.  Her mother and her stepfather were severely abusive, so much so that the state stepped in and removed her and her brother from the home.  Galina grew up with other family members and in shelters.  She is now the mother to Baby Vanya and benefits from the shelters for single mothers.  C.O.A.T.S. International supports parenting classes for young mothers such as Galina, and also provides material aid to babies such as Vanya who might otherwise end up in orphanages.

C.O.A.T.S. International sponsors centers in Moscow

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A mother and her infant son doing finger painting at a center for Moms & Babies in Moscow.

In addition to providing material aid to orphanages, C.O.A.T.S. International also works with single mothers to help them keep their babies at home.  Your donations to C.O.A.T.S. International help provide resources for these programs.

Meet Galina

Monday, September 16, 2013

Galina and her son at a Moscow Center for Single Mothers

Galina is an orphan and was raised in public institutions in Russia.  She is now a young single mother with very limited resources.  C.O.A.T.S. International supports her and other women who find themselves in similar situations.

We support the local shelters and programs in Russia that provide material aid to young mothers to prevent orphanhood and child abandonment. Your donations to C.O.A.T.S. International help Galina and many other young, single mothers, many of whom are orphans themselves.