Vyacheslav was 13 when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly thereafter, she was hospitalized and he had no relatives to take him in. As a result, he was sucked into Russia’s sprawling system of children’s homes.
Today, Vyacheslav (who asked to be identified only by his first name) is 25, yet he must struggle daily to overcome the stigma and consequences of his five years inside the system.
“This system simply teaches children to adapt and survive,” Vyacheslav said. “We were given a comfort zone, but within that comfort zone you have to become spineless.”
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