Hello School 2008!

This year more than a million Russian children entered the 1-st grade in a school for the first time. For millions of families it is a great celebration, which everyone has been sincerely waiting for. But what happens with those kids who have spent all of their childhood in an orphanage? What should children from orphanages do who don’t have a Mom to tie white bows in their pigtails, and who don’t have their Dad to help them properly put on their ties? What happens to those that don’t have a celebratory meal when they return home after their first day of school?

Millions of adults still remember the day when they went to school for the first time. The memory is so wonderful that adults wish the same for all the children who will soon be experiencing that same moment. That is why every good parent tries to spend this special day with their child, encouraging them as they take the first step in a new life.

We cannot let the children in orphanages feel lonely and sad on the first of September. It is not fair to leave these children without a real celebration. The Moscow Educational Department and HOPE worldwide – Russia (Nadezhda po vsemu miru) understand this problem. Orphans deserve no less, and perhaps even more, than children with families, and they are in need of a real celebration on the 1st of September.

That is why for several years the Educational Department has organized a citywide celebration for orphans entering the 1st grade called “Hello, School!”. HOPE worldwide – Russia (Nadezhda po vsemu miru) has provided help for several years in organizing this festival, being an old and loyal friend of children in the orphanages.

Before the start of the school year, HOPE worldwide – Russia (Nadezhda po vsemu miru) conducted an event to collect money for buying school materials for the children entering the first grade. Usually, the presents are given to the children at the end of the celebration, which according to the old tradition takes place in the Uri Nikulin Circus boarding school № 15. This year was not an exception. Hundreds of 1-st grade students came to celebrate the first of September.

We want to express our enormous thanks to the ARTANS Company which, not for the first time, provided help for the orphans. The president of ARTANS, Wolfgang Prutscher, personally devotes a lot of his attention to the problems of these children. The financial help provided by ARTANS this year was used to buy beautiful backpacks that the children took to their first day of school.

The whole day was full of pleasant surprises for the children. They let the children ride on horses, they performed a real circus act, and they organized a festival feast which ended with the handing out of presents to the children. Laughter and happiness filled the boarding school for the entire event. The eyes of the children were filled with joy and their smiles never faded. We really want this happiness to surround them all their lives. We wish you well on your journey through life my friends!

Report of the celebration from September, 1, 2006.