Hundreds of Moscow senior citizens, disabled people, orphaned children and children of at-risk families will be among the people helped this year thanks to a MoneyGram grant.
In December, MoneyGram awarded the grant to HOPE worldwide-Russia, a Moscow-based charity that helps the needy in areas related to medical care, health, education and social adaptation. Many of the people assisted by HOPE worldwide-Russia are children, pensioners and World War II veterans.
The charity is the Russian arm of HOPE worldwide, an organization with a presence in nearly 70 countries on six continents, serving the poor from Jamaica to Russia, South Africa to China and the United States.
Sergey Korobenko, country director for HOPE worldwide–Russia, said the MoneyGram grant will go a long way toward helping 750 people in Moscow.
“Together with MoneyGram, we have more effectively generated funding support to sustain charitable programs and inspire other companies to join us in the future,” said Korobenko. “But most importantly in working together with the government, businesses, media and volunteers, we hope to find the best ways to help children and seniors in need.”
Peter Hnatiuk, MoneyGram’s regional director for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Israel and emerging European countries, said the company wants to continue to be a responsible corporate citizen.
“When families in your community need help, you reach out to them,” said Hnatiuk. “That’s why it is important for MoneyGram and other companies to invest in their communities where they live and work. We have the ability to do so. We have the good will and generosity in our hearts. It’s our duty.”
Children, education, seniors
The grant money will go toward funding programs at a Moscow center, operated by the charity. Around the world, HOPE worldwide oversees facilities known as “Centers of Hope” that provide programs in one or more of these six areas: children, seniors, health, education, outreach, and employment opportunities. These community-based services may include operating homes for orphans, the caring of the sick, educating the disadvantaged, assisting senior citizens, and providing job training.
Specifically, the MoneyGram grant will help fund programs at an existing center, which will be renamed the HOPE worldwide-Russia and MoneyGram Center of Hope.
Korobenko said the MoneyGram grant will provide social programs for 500 orphaned children, extended after-school educational programs for 130 children from at-risk families and disabled people, and a community center for 120 seniors.
For example, one program is geared toward helping orphans establish long-term mentor/protege relationships with HOPE worldwide volunteers. “The goal is to establish relationships between children and HOPE worldwide volunteers so that after graduation the orphans will have friends who can act as mentors, advisers, and aid-givers in their lives outside of the orphanage,” Korobenko said.
The center will also provide social and psychological assistance to children from broken families; high-risk teenagers; families that have more children than they can support, and handicapped children. In this program, children will learn to work in groups, use computers, sew, cook, and record music. For their work, the children will earn “money” that can be spent in a special shop.
“The children will learn to be independent, industrious, and financially responsible as the program will give them the opportunity to learn how to earn money, plan a budget, save money and spend money wisely,” Korobenko said.
And finally, needy and low-income pensioners and World War II veterans will regularly receive free food packages. In addition, the senior citizens can spend time at a community center to celebrate holidays, birthdays, play chess, and watch their favorite movies.
HOPE worldwide-Russia was established in 1996, and operates in four Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Rostov-on-Don.
Said Hnatiuk: “MoneyGram wants to help, and we’re glad to do so. The simple things that take place in HOPE worldwide’s Centers of Hope can put a smile on someone’s face, especially a child or pensioner who just wants to hear someone say ‘hello’ to them.”