Project information

Developing Portage for Disabled Children in Russia

Portage improves the daily lives of disabled children in Russia through play, communication and developing self help skills. Our aim is to enable more children in Russia to benefit from Portage by training more Portage workers to offer one to one sessions with disabled children and their families.


Charity information: ThePromise

ThePromise logo
  • Need


    In Russia, mothers are still encouraged to give up their disabled children to the state to be cared for. When a mother decides to keep her child and bring them up at home she faces many problems. Family breakdown - fathers may leave and the mother may return to her parents for support looking after the child. Financial difficulties - limited financial support from the state and the difficulty of working with a child at home. The whole process can leave a mother feeling isolated and depressed.


    By training more workers in Portage delivery and creating teams of Portage workers, ThePromise will be able to deliver Portage to more disabled children in their homes. Working with their parents, the children will develop skills that will enable them to attend special schools and play their part in family life.

    The links created by the Portage teams allows parents to meet and talk and their children to make friends reducing the isolation of both parents and children.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build he capacity of Russian organisations who want to offer Portage


    » Run the Basic Portage Workshop in new organisations wanting to start up Portage services
    » Provide support to partner organisations in how to set up and run their Portage scheme.

    The development of Portage community programmes in other parts of Russia showcasing the development of the children involved and their acquisition of new skills.

    Aim 2

    Run 'train the trainer' workshops to build up a body of people trained to deliver Portage training.


    » Run an annual Train the Trainer workshop

    Increase the number of Russian Portage Trainers from 8 to 16.

    Aim 3

    Spreading the word of Portage and how it can help disabled children develop their life skills.


    » Speaking at conferences and disseminating information to all those involved with disabled children

    Number of organisations attending training and planning to start their own Portage services.

    Aim 4

    Continue to develop relationships with NGOs and government departments to influence policy makers.


    » Invite representatives from the Russian state and national and local NSAs to attend Portage training workshops

    Number of links with Russian NGOs and government departments.

  • Impact


    Fewer disabled children being placed into the care of the state.

    More disabled children being accepted into mainstream education.

    Changing Russian society's perception of the disabled.

    In government run institutions, changed perceptions of those involved with policy surrounding disability.


    The biggest obstacle to this project is working with local authorities and NGOs to embed Portage into Russian society. However, the demand from families and the high level of interested shown by education and medical professionals since ThePromise started working in Ryazan and the recent work undertaken for the Department for Social Protection means that although progress may be slow, there is a desire for change.


    ThePromise can provide written reports on the progress of the project to all donors including case studies on individual children in the programme. We keep individual records of each child on the Portage programme detailing goals and progress using the Portage checklist.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 Portage workshops Training of potential Portage workers in Russia
      £6,000 Management costs Project management costs in Russia
  • Background


    Initial workshops will be undertaken in Moscow and St Petersburg. One project is running in Taganrog in southern Russia.


    With the growing knowledge that disabled children have abilities to do things, this will slowly disseminate amongst the population, gradually changing the attitude towards disabled people generally.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    A highly successful pilot project showed without doubt that Portage is a great tool for assisting disabled children in their development. We now have 10 years experience working with disabled children in Russia and have seen how Portage changes their lives.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Wendy Tabuteau

    Wendy is Director of ThePromise in the UK and will be instrumental in building the capacity of our main partner Obeshenie in Russia

    Jo Pritchard

    Jo works with the partner organisations with a particular focus on the outcomes for the children.

    Armenui Gevurian

    Executive Director of our main Russian partner NGO - Obeshenye, based in Ryazan.

    Mollie White

    UK based Portage Consultant

Masha is learning letters with her Portage worker

Masha is learning letters with her Portage worker


Will train a new Portage Worker