The Harbor — St. Petersburg, Russia

The future of Russia lies in the emerging generation.

The Harbor is making a small but incredibly effective dent in the pressing needs of that generation. Located in St. Petersburg, it is a transitional living program for young semi-adult Russian orphans, helping them make the journey from hopelessness to productive members of society.

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Directed by CRM staff Melinda and Mark Cathy and Alex Krutov, The Harbor meets both the physical and spiritual needs of children, providing job skills and placement, introducing orphans to a living, relevant relationship with Jesus, and modeling a new way to care for street children and those in the new Russia who have been cast aside.

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Based on the St. Petersburg Governor’s report, 40,000 street children live in the city and the surrounding area, more than in the aftermath of WWII. The St. Petersburg region has approximately 40 orphanages in the city and another 60-70 in the suburbs. Each orphanage accommodates on average 100 children. At 17-18 years of age, Russian orphans are turned out into society and must find their own way to make it in life…and most don’t. Ninety percent of those turned out by the system end up in crime, prison, and prostitution. Within the first five years many commit suicide.

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All of the participants are enrolled in either high school, Technical College or University. The staff of The Harbor work with them daily; teaching basic life skills such as cooking, shopping, and how to study. They work with participants on self-discipline, how to work wholeheartedly, to be trustworthy, and how to care for themselves. In addition, residents participate in regular Bible studies, one-on-one and group counseling, and vocational training of their choice. Some may specialize in sewing; others may choose to specialize in computer classes, English classes, or carpentry. Vocational classes are taught by Russian lay men and women.

This ministry is intense. It is deep and it is thorough. In the section of The Harbor website that lists and describes graduates, results can be readily observed. The unvarnished truth is also there. Every participant has not been a “success story.” Nevertheless, the results and the recidivism rate are impressive.

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One Response to “The Harbor — St. Petersburg, Russia”

  1. Marie Burger Says:

    I taught school at the International Christian School in St. Petersburg for the last two years, but I’m back home in the states now. I was looking for a ministry called “Rainbows” or associated with that name. But I found yours. I’ll be praying for your orphanage. Bless you, Marie Burger

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