|Volume 8, No. 3||WINTER 2005|
Beslan victims receive help through
Moscow (IOCC) Long-term assistance for those suffering from the psychological effects of the Beslan school hostage crisis that claimed 344 civilian lives in September 2004 were given a boost following the dedication of a center developed by IOCC in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Beslan crisis ended tragically after three days, but the effects for family members and the community are expected to extend well into the future.
International attention on the tragedy sparked an outpouring of assistance in the immediate aftermath. In consultation with the Department on Church Charity and Social Services of the Russian Orthodox Church, IOCC’s efforts focused on the long-term psychological effects of the terrorist incident as well as the broader, ongoing conflict in the region. In cooperation with IOCC’s partner, the Department of Church Charity of the Rostov Diocese, a rehabilitation center was planned in the weeks following the Beslan crisis.
On July 25, 2005 Rostov-on-Don witnessed the opening and consecration of the Rehabilitation Center organized with the help
of IOCC. Archbishop of Rostov and Novocherkassk, Pantelemon consecrated the Center. Rostov-on-Don is a regional center and one of the locations where seriously wounded children and adults were transferred to hospitals for treatment following the attack. Accessible from Beslan, the city is home to many relatives of those killed during the siege and also receives victims of violence from the region.
The center will be sustained by the Diocese, which has agreed to support its ongoing work. The center’s staff include licensed psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, priests, nuns, and student volunteers from neighboring schools. Most of the staff will work on a voluntary basis.