Joy is the Best Medicine!

Who said that you should be sad when you’re sick? Perhaps it should be the other way around when you have friends who think the opposite. The staff of HOPE worldwide – Russia visited the ‘Speranskogo’ hospital, especially to visit children in the surgical branch of the hospital and arrange a “Pirate Induction” ceremony.

It has become a tradition for HOPE to visit children in hospitals and fill their time with joy and with hope for them to get better quickly. Some children have to stay in hospitals for weeks if not months, so now they all look forward to a visit from the HOPE staff.

Nobody was left without attention, even the parents who were looking after their children were able to participate in the party and become “real pirates”, which the parents apparently wanted to become no less than the children.

The most unexpected tests and trials awaited everyone during the pirate induction ceremony. Nonetheless the children weren’t frightened, but on the contrary, they showed quick wit and even bravery.

For several hours the corridor leading to the children’s rooms was filled with laughter, and happy noise from the firing of “weapons” from which children were able to launch small rockets, which caused genuine delight. At the end of the ceremony, older children were able to test their lungs and nerves, and the nerves of others, when they were forced to blow up balloons until they popped.

The sound of popping balloons was a harbinger of happy news that everyone had passed the test and had become “real pirates”. To prove this, everyone was given a “pirate” uniform and other pirate symbols as well as prizes and presents. It was interesting to watch how the whole room, now filled with a gang of young pirates, glowed with joy, in contrast to the doctors’ sterile white smocks.

The smiles on the children’s and adults’ faces, and the joy and gratitude for the party were evidence to the fact that our part of the medical treatment was a a great success.

Get well soon, my friends!

Marfino’s Playgrounds Become Sports Stadiums!

On the of 3rd June, HOPE worldwide – Russia together with the Moscow municipality Marfino held a sports festival for children in the area. The festival united children from different schools and various families under the motto: “Youth of Marfino Against Drugs”. The festival also congratulated the children on a successful end to the academic year.

On this day the students’ familiar schoolyard was transformed into not only a place of sports and competition, but a place of friendship and sincere joy for children and adults alike.

On this day the celebration gathered and united children of different ages to prove once again that sport is the best way to create a basis for friendship and have a good time while teaching children to say no to drugs and alcohol.

The sounds of music spreading all over the district drew the attention of passersby, and many became spectators of the events and competitions, and even fans of the competing groups.

Simultaneously on several sports fields we held football and volleyball competitions, and for the younger candidates we had relay races and contests in which younger children had to show not only sharpness, dexterity and speed, but also the desire to win. It was pleasant for all to observe how the children supported and consoled each other when there were failures, or something just didn’t come out right. Isn’t that a victory in and of itself?

The teachers and the tutors, who at first were there to simply observe and support the students, eventually couldn’t contain their enthusiasm any longer and joined in the fun as well. In the end they even arranged contests of dexterity between children, teachers and staff members of HOPE worldwide – Russia.

The day ended on a high note with awards and prizes being given out not only to the winners of the competitions, but to all of the participants.

Thus we can say with confidence that Marfino’s playgrounds could now be considered sports stadiums!