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Why ThePromise is needed For a disabled child in Russia today, life is hard. For a child in an orphanage, life holds few prospects and little joy. Their daily experience is limited to the four walls of the institution, and often, to the confines of their bed. Because of a lack of resources and training, even those children who live at home with their family are unlikely to have any education and have only minimal therapy. Research shows categorically that if children are denied one-to-one interaction, human touch and access to play, their brains will fail to develop properly and their progress will be severely delayed - physically, cognitively and emotionally. This is happening to many disabled children in Russia today.

What ThePromise is doing ThePromise works to improve the lives of these disabled children in Russia. We have introduced a widely–acclaimed pre–school teaching system, designed specifically for children with disabilities, called Portage, into institutions and the community in the Ryazan region of Russia. Using this system, each child’s special needs are analysed and special games and activities devised to boost all areas of their development. In 2006 we piloted the introduction of Portage in a Baby Home (for children aged 0 – 4 years) in Ryazan, Russia. The results were impressive - the average rate of developmental progress for children having Portage increased by 3.6 times. As a result these children started to be adopted and every child made truly remarkable gains in all areas of their development. News of our ground-breaking work spread within the region and we were invited to establish a pilot Portage programme in an orphanage for profoundly disabled children (4 – 18 years) at Yelatma. The children here are classified as in-educable by the authorities. Many of these children had spent their lives in bed and had no self–help skills at all. The progress of the children here was even more astounding their rate of development increased 8 times and children who were previously bed bound, started to sit up, crawl, walk and vocalise. We have also set up a community Portage project in the city of Ryazan to support families with disabled children at home, to try and prevent children being taken into state care. We train volunteer students from Ryazan State University who provide loving support for children and their families in their own homes. For many of our community families, Portage is the only outside support they receive for their child. “Portage has given me hope. I am eternally thankful to ThePromise for providing help and support and the knowledge that there are people in the world who care about my children.” Svetlana, mother of Nikita and Dennis who both have epilepsy and cerebral palsy


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Nastya has lived in an orphanage all her life. She was one of the first group of children in Yelatma to receive Portage. Thanks to her regular Portage sessions and the dedication of her Portage worker Maria, Nastya has grown into a sociable and independent eleven year old. She is now able to wash and feed herself and drink from a cup. She enjoys playing with the toys and drawing and is learning to walk.


Why ThePromise needs your support Your donation will help us to: »» Train more Portage workers to work one-to-one with disabled children and their families. »» Introduce Portage to new partner organisations in Moscow, St Petersburg and elsewhere. »» Provide multi-disciplinary support from volunteer specialists including training parents to make low cost equipment for their child using a technique called APT. »» Work in partnership with institutions, local authorities and NGOs to increase support for disabled children and promote a more positive attitude to disability. »» Create a model of good practice which can be replicated across Russia.

We urgently need your support

ThePromise holds the needs of the child at the heart of all we do. We need your support to continue our innovative and life-changing work: »» You could become an Angel for ThePromise by committing to a regular monthly payment. »» You could make a one-off donation. »» You could organise an event for ThePromise. »» You could undertake a fundraising challenge. »» You could persuade your company to support our work. »» You could leave a legacy. To find out more about any of these options please

Get in touch! ThePromise 181 Jersey Road, Isleworth Middlesex TW7 4QJ T: E: W:

+44 (0)20 8737 2987 post@thepromise.org.uk www.thepromise.org.uk

Registered Charity No 1098771 Registered Company No 4751873

Natasha passed away when she was 18 years old. She had cerebral palsy, she was malnourished and had severe deformities and had spent her life In bed. She lived in the Yelatma orphanage for older children with disabilities. We hope that with your help, no child will ever have a life so devoid of hope and joy.


ThePromise leaflet