Andrey Kozlov, 14 years old, the orphanage in Belinichy.

I was born in Mogilev and lived there till 2003 with my mom, granny and two younger sisters. Mom used to disappear for several days without telling us where she was going. Then, eventually, she moved to live with another man. She began to drink heavily. One day nobody picked me up from school and I had to spend my night over there. The next day I was sent to an asylum. My sisters followed me. And we haven’t seen our mother since then. When we were taken to the asylum, the people told us that our mother will get us on Monday. She never did.

I have been in the Belinichy asylum since my 3rd grade. I have very few friends here. When I just got there I missed my mom a lot but gradually I got used to living here. My granny used to visit us but that was a long time ago. My uncle sometimes takes us to his house on holidays.

I believe in God. I often pray to Him asking to send good friends to me. I also ask Him for a nice girlfriend. I like to paint. Sometimes my pictures are exhibited in Russia and Poland. I dream about having a good job and a good family more than anything else. There is no chance for me to get good education in the asylum. And I want to study at law school in future.

I wish that all the orphans who grew up at asylums would be able to make strong families, become good parents and never send their children away to such places!

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