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September 5, 2014
FRUA National Board Increases Global Outreach The National Board of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, Including Neighboring Countries. (FRUA, INC) met in late July for its annual meeting in Washington, DC. During this two-day planning session, the board agreed upon the need to increase its outreach effort globally. These efforts are seen as being fundamental to FRUA’s mission and values.
During September, FRUA will launch a three-pronged outreach effort to build awareness of our organization, our families, and our mission. FRUA’s primary mission is to offer Hope, Help and Community to families by providing connection, education, resources, and advocacy. When possible, we work to improve the lives of children left behind in institutions.
FRUA Representative to Attend World Russia Forum Next Week The FRUA National Board has made the unanimous decision to send our National FRUA Chair as a representative to the upcoming World Russian Forum in Moscow next week. Attending the invitation-only Forum presents FRUA with a unique opportunity to be heard in Russia.
Our FRUA Chair, Jan Wondra, will be meeting with people from around the globe to increase awareness that FRUA exists as an adoptive parent support organization. She will be telling member success stories on behalf of our FRUA membership. We hope to create a more balanced picture of the challenges and the successes of our adoptive families.
A visit to a Moscow orphanage is planned to meet with Russian orphan support entities, and with the media. You can follow Jan’s progress before, during and after the Moscow trip at the FRUA National Blog or through a link on the FRUA.org website. We want everyone to feel part of this journey on our behalf.
FRUA Regional Chapters will Host “INC” Country Visitors Also in September, two FRUA Regional Chapters will participate in FRUA's continuing 10-year partnership with the U.S. State Department's Open World Program. FRUA Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter and FRUA Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter, will host official visitors coming from Eastern European and Central Asian countries. These visitors come to specifically discuss inter-country adoption with FRUA parents. For example, FRUA parents will be meeting with representatives from Kyrgyzstan for a third year. Kyrgyzstan is just opening for inter-country. We want to share the importance of an adoptive support community for family success with the birth countries of our children.
FRUA Has Been Asked to Help the Children Who Have Been Affected in Ukraine The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has impacted hundreds of thousands of people. We have been contacted by organizations trying to assist children who live in institutions which are in the midst of this turmoil in Ukraine. We are working with official channels to investigate a funding mechanism that will protect our 501(c)(3) status while allowing us to help.
Meeting FRUA’s Mission through Increasing Awareness The three-pronged awareness effort is purposeful. The U.S. has approximately 65,000 Russian- born children adopted by over 40,000 U.S. families. The second largest group of children in our membership come from Ukraine. FRUA also has an increasing number of members who have adopted from the neighbors of these two countries adding even more rich Eastern European and Central Asian heritage to our families. We want to let the thousands of families who have adopted from all 29 countries know they have a home with FRUA and we will strive to nurture relationships will all their officials and people both at home and abroad.
FRUA is now 20 years old and remains all volunteer leadership. Being a 501(c)(3) organization focuses our advocacy position toward awareness building and education around issues that affect our membership. As an organization we do not lobby for government policy creation or change, nor do we lend our support to lobbying organizations.
Building more Member-only Benefits Look for our new digital members-only FRUA News by the end of September with links to pictures of FRUA’s outreach efforts, including the Moscow trip. The members-only journal, The Family Focus, is in the mail.
With the new school year underway, you may also be interested in the FRUA education tool for parents and teachers. Last spring, FRUA developed a “Teachable Moments” Q&A when the upheaval in Crimea began to unfold. The tool has been updated recently, in response to questions from our children about the unfolding situation.
The FRUA National Board would appreciate you sharing this message with your friends and families. We thank you for your continued support and all you are doing for your families and each other – as adoptive parents ourselves – we join you in your journey.