Location and general information
There is huge concern about the abandonment of children in Russia, most of whom are children with disabilities. More than half of people with Down’s syndrome in Russia grow up in orphanages and nearly 30% of Russian children with any type of disability live in orphanages.
The village of Belskoye Ustye is 20km from the nearest town and orphanage residents are restricted in their interactions almost exclusively to their peer group and carers. The region including the surrounding villages and the nearby town of Porkhov is economically depressed, suffers from large outward migration and has few opportunities for young people.
During the summer of 2018, the huge positive impact of football on the children was discovered after some training sessions with professional coaches were organised, enabling tthe joy of playing football together. It was then decided to create a football programme that will provide a rare source of recreation to both children from the orphanage and children from the local community, giving them an opportunity to socialise and to learn important skills.
The football project of the Step Up Orphan Opportunity Centre, funded by the UEFA Foundation for Children, aims to include orphans and disabled children in society, outside the orphanage. The project will help the children from the orphanage to go some way towards overcoming their severe isolation, facilitating their integration with locals and helping them to develop key communication skills. Moreover, the project will seek to involve children growing up in the village of Belskoye Ustye, the surrounding villages and the nearby town of Porkhov.
To achieve that aim, a football field will be built, and a methodology for football workshops for children with disabilities will be created so that volunteer coaches can run the activities.
- To give children from the orphanage and the rural community access to sport education (guided by professional coaches and trainers).
- For children from the orphanage to socialise with children from the surrounding rural areas.
- To improve the health and psychological conditions of the children from the region.
- For teachers from the orphanage to gain skills as football coaches.
- For teachers from the orphanage to improve their ability to support the personal development of the children and to integrate specific skills into the football training sessions.
- To develop a specific methodology for football workshops for children with disabilities.
- To build a football pitch.
- Football pitch built.
- Football training sessions provided for the teachers at the orphanage.
- Football activities provided for the children of the orphanage.
- Football events run for the children from the orphanage and the children from the local community.