Moscow’s “Island of Hope” needs help

I would like to thank OPF members for their support. We feel profound gratitude to all who, through their prayer, work and donations have helped us to continue our activity!

Our shelter “Island of Hope,” founded in 1992, harbors girls without home and family who might otherwise resign themselves to prostitution and crime. The shelter offers them the possibility to spend a difficult period of their lives in a safe place. We do all we can to provide a home, food, protection and education. At present, we are caring for 178 girls.

Besides our usual financial difficulties, we face renewed efforts to force us to leave our building. The fact that it is an architectural monument and has a good location attracts those interested chiefly in money. In their efforts to drive us out, we have endured several violent raids. Now we have received an expulsion order, a decision of the Moscow Government made June 30 which cancels the previous decree (NR 67, January 24, 1995). The 1995 action gave us long term rent of the house as a shelter for young girls.

If we are expelled, it will have tragic consequences for residents of the shelter, girls rescued from the spirit-corrupting forces of Moscow’s streets. The results of the collective work, carried out by volunteers from many countries who restored a ruined building, would be abolished. It would be the cynical destruction of a holy initiative.

We know by experience that rescuing our shelter will be very difficult. The children, who have already experienced the methods of the militia, are in fear expecting another brutal attempt to seize their “Island of Hope.”

At the same time we need your renewed intervention to plead our cause to Mayor Yury Luzhkov urging that he overrule decree Nr 500.

Alexander Ogorodnikov

Christian Mercy Society Dom 2

Popov Way

Moscow

Russia 107014

tel: +7 (095) 269-0392; fax: 268-8037

e-mail: [email protected]

web site: http://www.glasnet.ru/~mercy/frame.html

note: Send your appeal to Mayor Yury Luzhkov, Ul. Tverskaia D.13, Moscow 103032, Russia (or by e-mail to: [email protected]). The Orthodox Peace Fellowship is willing to receive contributions in support of the Christian Mercy Society and its “Island of Hope.”