Who we are

Photo of summer camp

At one of the first ROOF summer camps in Belskoye Ustye.

ROOF was founded in Moscow in 1997, and has been working ever since to improve opportunities for orphans in Russia. We began by providing teachers and educational resources for children and young people in orphanages in and around Moscow. While still focusing on education, our broader aim is to help build a stronger society that supports and answers the great need of Russia’s orphans by developing and implementing far-reaching but local grass-roots initiatives with high impact potential.

At ROOF, we aim to achieve our goal through relationship. Above all, we strongly believe that people can change and can be changed. We believe that we are all in the process of ”becoming” every moment of our lives and our decisions, actions and relationships constantly contribute to determining what we are in the process of becoming.

A Russian Orthodox priest wrote, ”[Look at] Christ’s parable of the Last Judgement (Matt. 25:31-46). When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgement? The parable answers: love – not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous ‘poor’, but concrete and personal love for the human person, any human person, that God makes me encounter in my life. … Christian love is the ‘possible impossibility’ to see Christ in another man, whoever he is, and whom God, in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into my life, be it only for a few moments, not as an occasion for a ‘good deed’ or an exercise in philanthropy, but as the beginning of an eternal companionship in God Himself… If God loves every man, it is because He alone knows the priceless and absolutely unique treasure, the ‘soul’ or ‘person’ He gave every man. Christian love then is the participation in that divine knowledge and the gift of that divine love… Christian love, however, aims beyond ‘this world’. It is itself a ray, a manifestation of the Kingdom of God; it transcends and overcomes all limitations, all ‘conditions’ of this world because its motivations as well as its goals and consummation is in God. And we know that even in this world, which ‘lies in evil’, the only lasting and transforming victories are those of love. To remind man of this personal love and vocation, to fill the sinful world with this love – this is the true mission of the Church.” This is how we think of our mission at ROOF.

[ Read more about our philosophy | Read a fuller quotation about Christian love ]