Community Portage Service (age 0-11)
ThePromise believes that if more support was available in the home families would be less likely to hand their children to the State for care. In 2006, working with the Psychology and Defectology Department of Ryazan State University, ThePromise established a Community Portage Service in Ryazan. Portage is now part of the student’s curriculum. 10 students, supervised by a senior portage worker, are working as voluntary Portage workers within the community helping 22 families. The student Portage workers visit each of their families once a week and work with the child and their mother on developmental exercises that can be practised daily. The mother of one child, Sergey, said :
“Portage has taught me that Cerebral Palsy is not a sentence. Sergey should be treated as special not sick. I want to continue with Portage because through this I can see that my child is developing physically and mentally”
In March 2008, ThePromise together with the University put together a presentation on the project for an exhibition in Moscow. This resulted in an award for the best practical project that could be replicated elsewhere in Russia.