Two remarkable events happened in our program “Family center” in November.
The first and the most significant was on the 22nd of November. It was the official opening of the program.
Many honorable guests attended the event. Among them were, Irina Raber, Prefect of North-East Administrative
District of Moscow (NSAD), Shestakova Z. A., Head of the District Administration of Civilian Social
Protection in NSAD, Burtsev M. M., Head of the “Marfino” District Council, and Shawn Wooten, The president
of the HOPE worldwide – Moscow, as well as other honorable guests.
Honorable guests aside, the most important guests were the families that benefit from the project, and
this of course included all the children. The first part of the ceremony was dedicated to the families,
and as they expressed their heartfelt gratitude, it became clear what an impact this project will have
on the lives of the families of the Northeast district of Moscow.
The ceremony was very interesting and everybody was in a festive mood. Preschool children performed, young
actors from the 15th orphanage put on their own circus show, and the workers from HOPE worldwide –
Moscow arranged contests for children followed by treats. The auditorium was decorated with lots of
balloons and each child got to take one home to remember the day by.
The second event of November was the first graduation celebration for orphans leaving their orphanages.
This meeting was part of the project “Road to life” which tries to support orphans as they leave the
institution and begin their adult life. Everybody was nervous on Saturday the 17th November. The staff of
the orphanages was worried about their wards going of to proverbially seek their fortunes, and we worried
if any of the graduates would actually come to the meeting. Our fears were in vain, as four graduates
showed up. We had a great time. We all became acquainted, looked through old photo albums, played different
games, and then we had tea and watched a comedy. The whole evening was much like a family celebration,
which is exactly what these children need in their lives.
A few words about two of the four graduates: Natasha is 19. She studies at evening school. She works, but
does not divulge where. Her apartment is a run-down basement. All the pipes are leaky and the walls are
crumbling. It is impossible to live there and that is why she lives with her mate who is also an orphan.
Natasha is sociable, but it is hard for her to trust people for she thinks that nobody cares about the
orphans. The first impression one gets from Denis is that he is very unsociable, he doesn’t study anything
and he earns a little money from an unknown source, which he uses mostly on light drugs. The lives of other
children are very similar to Denis and Natasha.
The graduates were very happy to be with us though, as they didn’t want to leave and asked if there would be
another meeting. It’s so amazing that now each one of these young people now has an older “brother” or
“sister” who they can talk to and share their anxieties and joy with.