Who We Are

SunErgos International is a nonprofit working to provide food, warmth and hope to the orphaned and the marginalized in Russia.  From the Greek, “Sun” means unity and “Ergos” means fellow worker, we chose the name to emphasize a common purpose.  We encourage communities of all backgrounds to join in creating a healthy, sustainable environment for orphans and street children. Our staff and volunteers consist of passionate individuals dedicated to providing a better, safer life for Russia’s children the way God intended.

SunErgos International was founded in 2003 when the Mendakoff Family realized the horrific lifestyle millions of children endure on the streets in Russia. With the number of orphans constantly increasing, we wanted to figure out why this was a growing issue.

We found that many Russian orphans are social orphans. At least one of their parents is alive, but is unfit, unable, or unwilling to be responsible for their child. This could be for a number of reasons:

  • After the collapse of the Former Soviet Union, many families found it financially difficult to support a child.
  • Extreme drugs, alcoholism, and physical or emotional abuse often cause the child to leave their home. A child might be removed or leave independently.
  • With many orphanages crowded, lacking funds and staff, children don’t receive the attention they need to develop a healthy, nurturing lifestyle.


At SunErgos International, we strive to be the footsteps of Jesus by loving God’s children, not just in word, but in action. This includes building relationships with the children, ensuring they are equipped with basic necessities such as food and clothing. We encourage individuals, universities, churches and communities to come together as one voice and make a difference for Russia’s orphans.

Glasses for little DimaFOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS

We believe God has a special love for orphans, widows and the poor.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. John 14:18
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5
Dear children, Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

See our Statement of Faith


Every day, SunErgos International is diligently working to create a better life for orphaned children.

Since 2003, we have been building relationships with multiple orphanages and care centers throughout Russia. We assist them in two ways:

  • First, we are in constant communication with their staff to identify their needs. This constantly varies from basic necessities, to educational material, to building maintenance projects and more.
  • Additionally, SunErgos International sends teams and interns to serve in those institutions. These teams organize summer camps and provide emotional, spiritual, and material support to orphans and at-risk children.Interns serve as our feet on the ground, analyzing needs and building relationships with the children.


None of our work would be possible without your support.  SunErgos International relies on your donations to make all of this possible. We consistently strive to be good stewards of all the resources given to us.

With this in mind, since 2003, 99% of SunErgos International’s total operating expenses are used for programs that benefit orphans, elderly, and the poor in Russia.