Keystone Human Services, a residential provider for people with disabilities based in Harrisburg, PA, has been exploring, developing, and applying its know-how in Russia for a few years now. From the website of the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in-the-Fields:
On Bright Friday, May 6, 2005, Archimandrite Zacchaeus, Dean of St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church welcomed Mr. Charles Hooker, First Vice President and CEO of Keystone Human Services to the parish. Accompanying Mr. Hooker were several members of the Board of Directors of Keystone Human Services. The purpose of the visit was to become better acquainted with Russia, its people and culture, and to become aware of the conditions and methods of social care provided in Russia for the most vulnerable – children and adults with disabilities, orphans, low-income and at-risk families. The idea is to see how Keystone’s 35 year experience of providing comprehensive system of services to children and families could be helpful in Russia – to see how the proven models of family care could be adapted here and how Keystone can share expertise with Russian colleagues in the following areas: mental retardation, autism, mental illness, early intervention, physical disability, speech therapy, physical therapy, early childhood development, parent training and residential treatment.
As stated in the Mission Statement of Keystone Human Services, “Keystone Human Services International is the newest of the Keystone Human Services agencies. KHSI reflects our enduring commitment to improving the lives of children and families and our vision of working to build a better and safer world.”
It is hoped that Keystone and St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church will be able to cooperate in various social outreach to aid the community in the future.
from Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in-the-Fields, May 6, 2005: http://www.st-catherine.ru/index.php?lang=eng&sitepartid=9&id=76&level=0&PHPSESSID= (photo also from this site)
Two and a half years later we find Maria Kalitina, a staff member of Keystone at the Church again, along with a group of children from Beslan, Russia who survived a terrorist attack there in September 2004: http://www.st-catherine.ru/index.php?lang=eng&sitepartid=9&id=899&level=0&PHPSESSID=a19c093f411f…
And here are two more accounts from Keystone concerning their work in Russia:
Promoting the Best Care at the Best Source- the Home, by Maria Dolbunova, General Director, Keystone Foundation for Children and Families: http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/keystoneNews/ngoSpotlight.php
and the website of Keystone Services International: http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/international.php
May God raise up more such collaborative efforts!