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May 2006

Maria's Children

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(5):464. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.5.464

Imagine the future of a country in which 1 out of every 21 of the inhabitants is currently a child who is an orphan. This is the situation in Russia, where recent Russian media have reported the estimated orphan population at 2 million and the street children at 4 million.

This is a population that is undernourished, understimulated, underbonded, undereducated (both academically and in life skills), and abused in nearly every physical, sexual, and psychological way imaginable. There are exceptions of course, but the average government orphanage is a grim place indeed, understaffed with underpaid and overworked employees.

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