A Journey of Hope for Russian Orphans

In the summer of 2004, 30 Russian orphans between the ages of 5-12 years old, will arrive in Minnesota for the journey of a lifetime. They'll be participating in the Journey of Hope, a project of RMH Children's Foundation and directed by European Children Adoption Services.

The Journey of Hope program was established in 2003, when twenty Russian orphans traveled to Minnesota for a summertime respite. For four weeks, these children were immersed in American culture, camps and family life. Our ultimate goal, however, was to find families for as many orphans as possible. We were thrilled by the results. We brought 20 orphans to Minnesota, and 26 children are being adopted! (This accounts for some siblings who are being adopted, too.) Photos and newspaper stories about last year's Journey of Hope program can be found at http://www.nhffoundations.net/rmhchildren 

We can't stress enough how important it is for these children to participate in the Journey of Hope.

Right now, more than 650,000 Russian children live in orphanages. An estimated 120,000 children are added to that country's orphanage population each year. Once an orphan reaches the age of five, their chances of being adopted are less than five percent. When most orphans reach 16-17 years old, they’re released into their community without basic life skills. Many of these kids have never been taught how to shop, cook, find an apartment, or manage finances. Many of them lack vocational training, and are seen as society’s outcasts. According to a report from Moscow, a year after orphans are released from institutions, 30% of them will live on the streets, 40% will become criminals, 40% will become drug addicts or alcoholics, and 10% will kill themselves. Their native country is simply unable to provide a social safety net for these children.

Can you help us give hope to these children? This may be their only chance for long term survival...and love? We need:

§         Host families in Minnesota who will welcome a child or sibling group into their homes for four weeks.

§         Individuals and families who are interested in learning more about the joys and challenges of adopting older, institutionalized children.

§         Finances to pay for travel and program expenses for 30 orphans, plus travel expenses for several chaperones/teachers from the orphanages in Russia. Our fundraising goal, to help defray program expenses, is $80,000. Donations in all amounts are welcome, from full sponsorships ($4,500) to "pocket change" contributions. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by U.S. law.

§         Host families in Minnesota who will welcome a child or sibling group into their homes for four weeks.


Thank you for your consideration.

Robin Chance

RMH Children's Foundation

A National Heritage Foundation

Website: http://www.nhffoundations.net/rmhchildren

Email: rmhchildren@aol.com

Mailing address: 1288 Limestone Drive, Shakopee, MN 55379

Federal Tax ID: 58-2085326


February Update:

The Minneapolis-St. Paul NBC affiliate, KARE-11, is scheduled to air a 90-second segment about the Journey of Hope program (summer respite/adoption advocacy program for older Russian orphans) on February 19 at 5:00 p.m.

KARE-11 photojournalists attended an informational meeting, and met with several families who participated in the 2003 program. Should be an interesting story!

If you're unable to watch our news story on 2/19, you can read about it on 2/19 or 2/20, at www.kare11.com. (Look for it in the "Extra" segment.)

On another media note...our intern, Sarah, wrote an article about the Journey of Hope. It appeared this month on the front page of the Minnesota Christian Chronicle. The article is titled: Plans Change for Minnesota Family Adopting Orphans.

You can read the story at: http://www.mcchronicle.com/local.html

Hope you all have a great day.

Robin Chance 


April Update:

14 April: KARE 11, the NBC-affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul, aired a story about the Journey of Hope program tonight. Here's the blurb that appears on the KARE11.com website about the segment:

Tonight in the KARE-11 News Extra:

A Daughter's Dying Wish Brad Woodard and Ron Stover

Wednesday at ten in the KARE 11 News Extra -- nothing could prepare Gregg and Laura Ferguson for the death of their daughter, Sarah.

But something Sarah did shortly before she died changed not only her parent's lives but the lives of two little girls halfway around the world.

Sarah made her parents promise that they would adopt a child. Gregg and Sarah took it one step further -- they adopted two girls from Russia.

See how the Ferguson's tragic loss translated into a whole new world for two very deserving children.

That's Wednesday in the Extra.





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