The Church in Belskoye Ustye

There is no more iconic image of Belskoye Ustye, say so many of our volunteers from summer camps over the years, than the church. Crossing the bridge from ROOF’s Baranovo House towards the village of Belskoye Ustye, it stands in front of you the whole way. A huge church, apparently once beautiful, but now in […]

Parish partnerships

ROOF is looking to form parish partnerships to serve orphans and the local communities in which they live. In this, we are intending to replicate the successes of earlier educational and community support programs and ALSO support the development of domestic adoption. This we are beginning to do through Orthodox Church parishes. Our parish partnership […]

Belskoye Ustye Summer Festival

In 2013, for a variety of reasons, the annual summer camp in Belskoye-Ustye will have a different flavour. Instead of focusing just on the children in the orphanage, we have expanded the project to be more of a community renewal program, hopefully bringing the orphanage and the surrounding community together. We are calling it the […]

Social Enterprise in Belskoye-Ustye

Over the winter of 2013-14, one of our main tasks in Baranovo is developing tiny enterprises that will help us be just a little bit self-sustainable. As we talk about this aim as a group, it seems key to us that we harness the particular joys and enthusiasms of the people who are present in […]

Organic Farming in Baranovo

The Baranovo House, ROOF’s volunteer centre for Belskoye Ustye, stands on a large plot of land previously used to grow vegetables. Starting in 2013, ROOF is beginning a small organic farm on this land. Volunteers both short and long-term have worked on this plot, and, despite the inevitable mistakes and challenges, we did bring in […]

Abilitation Centre

Back in 2005, ROOF opened the “Abilitation Center” in Porkhov – a program that enables graduates of Belskoye-Ustye Psycho-Neurological to “make a go” of life outside the institution, rather than being transferred to homes for the elderly/mental institutions at age 18. In seven years, the Abilitation Center program has had the same number of residents, […]


Tuchkovo is a small town located 80km west of Moscow in the Moscow Region. Around 35 orphaned children (mostly social orphans) live at the School-Internat in Tuchkovo, which is classified as a Type 8 educational institution. Type 8 schools use a special correctional program which gives the children the equivalent of a primary education over […]


Belskoye Ustye is a small village of about 100 people, and so the orphanage, housing between about 70 and 100 children, is a very significant part of village life. The nearest town is Porkhov, 16km away with a population of about 10000 people. The regional capital, Pskov, 98km away. The orphanage in Belskoye Ustye is […]


History and Short Description The orphanage was opened in 1996 because of the increasing number of social orphans in Russia. Before the orphanage existed, social orphans and orphans from Podol’sk were sent to orphanages in neighbouring towns.  When ROOF began working at Podol’sk in 1999, the orphanage was home to around 30 children. Some years […]

Heroes of the Ocean