Statistics show that approximately 50% of children departing the orphanage system fall into crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, prostitution or other destructive lifestyles. Many commit suicide. Friends of Russian Orphans sponsors two scholarship programs in an effort to combat these grim statistics.
The first program, “Starting Strong,” supplies a
monetary stipend to children who desire additional
education and who are departing the orphanage
system. This financial boost is often essential, because these children have no family support and their small government stipend is insufficient to cover basic living expenses while they are pursuing efforts to better themselves through additional training and education.
The second is the “Irina Simonova Scholarship”, named for Friends of Russian Orphans’ beloved friend and facilitator pictured to the left. Irina was a gifted women of boundless love, determination and commitment to the orphan children of her homeland. This scholarship is provided to one child each year that is departing the orphanage system in the Arkhangelsk Region. The child chosen shows hard-work, honesty, integrity, determination in the face of struggle, and most of all a desire to help others. Academic achievement is an important factor when selecting a recipient, but the quality of compassion is an even more significant consideration.