The mission of Murland is to change the destiny of orphans by providing them not only with material support but also with a chance to develop as persons through psychological help and education.
The organization targets three major problems: inadequate financial support of orphanages, the poor education and social isolation of orphans.
The issue to be addressed is an improvement of the living conditions in orphanages to meet the children’s most immediate and basic needs such as warm clothing, sturdy shoes, simple hygiene products, medical supplies. To prevent misuse of funds, most needed goods are delivered directly to the orphanages, rather than by money transfers to the orphanages. During subsequent mission trips to the orphanages the presence and proper use of earlier delivered goods is being controlled.
Although the State provides education to orphans, they are often far behind family children at school. There are many reasons for this: a huge excess of the number of children over orphanage staff, psychological problems and disorders of orphans, low motivation for studying. As a result, orphans become greatly disadvantaged in finding a gainful job when they enter a wider community. A number of educational programs developed and executed by Murland are aimed to diminish this disadvantage of orphans by teaching them some skills which can help them find a job and become self-sustaining adults.
Now days, computer literacy is an indispensable skill if one is to continue education or to apply for a job. This is why the main emphasis is given to the computer education (Program “Computer literacy”). The fact that computers are not common in households in many provinces in Russia, gives to the orphans, who have learned computer literacy, an important advantage to find the first real job.
Social rehabilitation and counseling
Many children who enter orphanages have experienced emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. Deprived of family and love, orphans become socially detached, isolated, and develop emotional problems.
Professional counseling is required to help orphans to overcome these problems and to develop normally. Although every orphanage is required to have a psychologist in its staff, in many cases government funding is not sufficient for an orphanage to afford a psychologist. In other cases directors of orphanages do not find psychologists necessary and, therefore, ignore this issue. Murland’s social rehabilitation and counseling program includes recruitment of specialists to develop specialized programs for orphans and orphanage personnel, hiring of professional psychologists to execute these programs in the orphanages, supplying of educational and supplementary materials games, and toys to the orphanages, organization of trainings and seminars for orphanage staff. Computer classes created by Murland within “Computer literacy” program are used for testing and trainings for social rehabilitation and counseling program. This program provides a basis for success of educational programs.
During the latter year Murland was actively developing programs, dedicated to teaching children vocational craft, housekeeping and work skills.
Woodwork studios are organized in the orphanages, where children learn to build furniture themselves (currently shelving units and beds). The furniture is then used in the orphanage. This program hits two goals: children acquire skills that can be useful in the future, and learn to improve their living space with own hands (Program “Living space”).
Murland organizes and equips special areas for learning housekeeping.
It also provides orphanages with yarn, knitting-needles and textbooks for knitting; as well as with wooden chopping boards, paints and decoration templates for decorating chopping boards. For the items which children knit (usually scarves or sweaters) or paint (decorative chopping boards) they receive small payment. These programs not only teach orphans another useful skill, but they also give them an opportunity to earn pocket money, as well as make them believe that they can earn honestly.
To encourage physical education of orphans, Murland organizes and supports football teams in the orphanages.
In addition to counseling, Murland undertakes several other steps to improve the local social environment in orphanages. Members of the organization bring books and educational games to children and spend their time explaining these games to children. They also organize celebrations and fireworks at major holidays and as gratitude receive theatre performances played by children. Murland organized for orphans several visits to Moscow. These activities have a great positive impact on both children and orphanage personnel, making them feel that they are not left alone, that somebody out there cares for them.
All activities of Murland -- providing material support, improving education and social rehabilitation of orphans -- play in sync to achieve the major goal of the organization: to help orphans to become healthy, educated, self-sustaining and contributing members of society.