June 2006 through December 2008

A six-year-old girl who feared communicating and would not interact with other children or adults has begun talking again and telling stories to her friends. Two brothers who had been hostages in the Beslan School Number One tragedy and were refusing to go to school out of fear now attend school regularly and have higher self-confidence and self-esteem as well as a stronger relationship with their family.

These are just a few of the children who were supported by community-based services through our Comprehensive Systems of Care (CSOC) for Children and Youth project in the Russian North Caucasus. With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Keystone established coordinated, community-based psychological, educational and health services for children and families in North Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. From June 2006 to December 2008, we touched the lives of over 50,000 children, families and specialists through services, supports and training.

In an area where social, political and economic conditions may make it difficult for families to remain intact, and for individuals to maintain their independence and develop their strengths, Keystone strove to reunite and empower children and families so they could live full, rich lives in the community. The CSOC programs sought to create an environment where all children are celebrated within the community for their individual gifts.

To support children and families, Keystone’s programs in the North Caucasus offered a variety of services, including hippotherapy, art therapy, relaxation therapy, dance therapy, play therapy, parent effectiveness training, health assessments, family education, daycare facilities and respite care for working parents, and home visits for families in rural regions. These services focused on children and families, building on their individual and cultural strengths and developing one of the most valuable sources of supports – the community.