You Asked, Russia’s Country Director Answered

In June, we asked what questions YOU had for Children’s HopeChest’s Russia Country Director, Katya Celenina. Russia partners had some intriguing questions, including “How is HopeChest’s work different from other nonprofits in Russia?” and “How did HopeChest first came into partnership with Russia, what were you were doing then, and how it’s evolved over time?”

In this month’s episode of “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” you asked and Katya answered. We are featuring questions from HopeChest Friends, community members, and HopeChest program participants. Wil Crooks, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships reads your silly, serious, and heartfelt questions in this unique episode.

It’s my passion, my mission, and the core of my life. I do believe in what we are doing. We do believe that all kids—no matter orphans or not—must have equal opportunities. And equal opportunities mend God’s love. Only He makes all people equal. … They should have equal access, equal opportunities, and a meaningful life.” Katya Celenina



Wil smiling in a circular photoAs Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Wil Crooks builds relationships with HopeChest partners and potential partners. Wil started out as a pastor partnering with HopeChest, and now he shares the same vision that he caught with other potential partners.



God has blessed Katya with many opportunities while championing the cause of orphans for more than 20 years. Katya’s expertise is in older orphan care and social adaptation in Russia., and her initial efforts grew into today’s programs for older orphans. Today, she speaks throughout Russia and Eastern Europe on family-based intervention programs for older orphans.


“Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” is a podcast that challenges the Western perception of international poverty by elevating the voices of local leaders and processing how we can help to alleviate poverty without harming those living in vulnerable communities.

You can download and subscribe to “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” here:

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