Life Skills Curriculum




Objective: To develop and implement a teaching program for orphans ages 10-15, living in state-run institutions, that will equip them and enable them to successfully assimilate into society and become productive, virtuous citizens.

The "Life Skills" program will be a 5-year curriculum, but just as important is that the "Life Skills" program will be a ‘person' - a ‘Life Skills Coach,' who will work full-time at the state-run orphanage, teaching the ‘Life Skills' lessons 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

A LIFE SKILLS COACH will also be available for one-on-one counseling, recruiting & training of volunteers to tutor and mentor the orphans. Their door will always be open, and the relationship building will be critical.

To develop the curriculum and Life Skills coach training, two committees have been formed. The first is the "Curriculum Development Committee" which is made up of professionals in various fields relevant to the 'Life Skills' topics.  And the second is the "Slavic Advisory Committee", which is comprised of Slavic orphanage professionals who will review and adjust the lesson plans, making sure they are as relevant and effective as possible.




Our Adult Orphan Transition program "Fresh Start", is designed to make a difference. But at the same time, what if we could apply the "ounce of prevention‟ wisdom and begin teaching these orphans when they are 10-12 years old the "life skills" they will need, preparing them while we can?

I am reminded of the story of the city built on the edge of a cliff, and from time to time, people would accidentally fall off the cliff into the valley below. The City Council met in emergency session as the casualties mounted. Their solution? To build a hospital in the valley below, rather than a fence at the edge of the cliff.

As someone once said, it is more exciting to drive an ambulance in the valley....but how much more effective is prevention, and a fence at the top?

The transition program "Fresh Start" is critical and vital to those adult orphans already out on their own. You can see the impact it is having. But we must do more.

We have been developing an in-depth teaching program that covers such topics as "Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs", and have seen orphans in our program quit smoking and quit drinking. A very difficult task when their peers continue to indulge, but imagine the positive impact our or-phans can have on the others. Other topics include "The Importance of Education," "Relationship Skills," "How To Handle Money," "Setting Goals & Making A Plan for Your Life," "Truth, Honesty & Integrity," and "Health and Hygiene." Believe it or not, they receive little if any teaching on these subjects in the orphanage.

Of course, there will always be the need for the "Fresh Start" program. But as we intervene with preventive teaching, the make-up of the transition program will evolve into an extension of the "Life Skills" training they have already received at a younger age, and "Fresh Start" can focus more effectively on the transition from orphanage life to adult life as a more natural progression.

Ultimately, we plan to develop "Life Skills" lessons that will span five years, from age 10 through 15, leading smoothly into the "Fresh Start‟ transition.