«NA-DE-ZHDA – moj kompas zemnoj (HOPE is my compass on Earth)…»: – Russian words from a popular song. Compass as we all know is a device that helps us find bearing. There are moments of intense need in lives of everyone. Children and teenagers are a category that needs their compass the most as their future depends on it.
May 21, 2011, IX Sport Festival took place in the Children’s Health Center “Friendship” (“Druzhba”), which gives hope to children and adults from different social groups.
HOPE Festival is the only existing sports event in the Rostov area which gathers such a large number of orphans, handicapped children and volunteers together. This significant event annualy unifies government and non-government organizations, volunteers and representatives of high value social businesses in the interests of the children who are in a very difficult life situation.
The main purpose of the festival is to give orphans and handicapped children a sense of warmth and joy, to strengthen the awareness that they are not alone, and that their future is definitely radiant.
The day of the event was sunny and bright, and hospitable gates of the “Friendship” (“Druzhba”) Center were opened widely for over 100 children and over 50 volunteers. Among them: 82 children came from foster homes of “Krasnyi” and “Rasvet Aksaiskogo Raiona” Areas, Aksay city, and Rostov-on Don city; handicapped children from orphanage of Gornyi Krasnosulinskyi District; 40 people were the volunteers of HOPE worldwide – Rostov-on-Don, 10 volunteers of Russian Voluntary Fire Society of Aksaisky Department, and volunteers from “Lerua Merlen – Rostov-Mega” and cars center “Avangard”, official dealer of Opel and Chevrolet in Rostov-on-Don.
After the greeting of Festival’s participants, children split up into 8 mixed teams (to make equal competition), named: “Hedgehogs”, “Golden Orange”, “Friendship Forever”, “Victory”, Spanch Bobi”, “Sport Team”. Thanks to volunteers who coordinated the Festival, the participating children took part in sport competitions like “Fun Starts”, “Traffic Police – Island of Safety” using zebra, “Fireproof” and “Football”.
In the height of the holiday, the camp was overflowing with positive emotion. Children were running, screaming, laughing, popping balloons and just enjoying the very joyful fellowship. Adults were …doing the same!!! The teams’ unity was expressed in special strength that day; it was a joy over the victory and then sadness that the holiday is over. This festival was a long anticipated event and even a miracle for the children – and is every year. Young children developed a peculiar hope that next year they would be able to use fire extinguisher to put out fire, and be able to play football and score, to play in “Running Chapaev”, and to show special style in “Ushu” and in “RAP”, to dance ballroom dances, and to find new friends. The year 2012 will see the celebration of HOPE’s 10th Children’s Sports Festival.
Festival’s participants’ expression:
Tatyana Sorokina, a foster mother (constant participant of Rostov’s Festival, in 2005 together with the children of foster family Nedotyukovy took part in Moscow Children’s Sports Festival HOPE):
«We express our deep and sincere gratitude to volunteers who have been with us since 2002. We live thinking about you, and wait for HOPE to come.
Irina Nedotyukova, adopted (participated in Moscow HOPE Festival in 2005 and constantly takes part in Rostov Festival):
«I enjoyed the fellowship, participation and attention from volunteers and sponsors on the HOPE Festival.
What children shared about Festival: We all like it a lot and talk about it the whole week. Boys liked football and the fact that they had a company to play with. We enjoyed the show when firefightes were fighting to put the fire out and, fellowship with friendly volunteers. We liked fire competitions a lot; we also met a lot of new friends, and were jumping in bags and throwing darts».
Anna Kulishkina, a foster mother (participated for the first time):
“We enjoyed watching the children participating in the competitions with great pleasure. It was organized well. Children of different agees were interested and included into games and competitions. Fire show was special; Sasha and Serezha took part in putting the fire out.
We are still talking about the HOPE festival in our home, and 9-year-old Kirill said that next year he will be older and will use the fire extinguisher.
Our children enjoyed darts competitions, football, dancing with ZEBRA and traffic competitions.
Lunch that we received at the festival was quite big, we finish it only in the evening at home!”
Svetlana Ievleva, a foster mother (many times took part in the Festival):
«We like it very much. We like organization and work of the volunteers team from HOPE worldwide – Rostov-on-Don. We want to come again.
Once again, we express deepest appreciation to the enterprising group of volunteers from HOPE worldwide – Rostov-on-Don».
Children’s smiles expressed their gratitude for all volunteers. The most precious were the smiles on the sad faces. Maybe children received the real hope for that moment which will change their lives. This event is important for every volunteer as well, as they receive something special when they help others. Volunteers can see themselves from different side discovering compassion, common understanding of real life’s value, new talents and also develop them for the good.
Tamara is from «Leura Merlen»: «Festival was well organized. I liked that the children were taken care of. I had no reason to worry about my 6-year-old nephew. Atmosphere was positive! Children took part in competitions and games very actively. I wish to participate in this Festival more often».
Viktoria Vdovchnko, a student (participated for the first time): «Children’s joy, open hearts of volunteers, outdoor festival, lunches and gifts for the children».
Alexandr Slastenov, a coordinator of “Keenness of Vision” competition (part of the festival from 2003): «Atmosphere of the holiday was joyful»
Elena Zhestkova, works in design company, was helping with decorations (participates from 2006): «I liked fire competitions like “Fireproof”, “Traffic Police – Island of Safety”, and kindergarten under the direction of Liza Ovcharenko (she is a speech therapist who participated for the first time)»
Alina Kolosovich future lawyer, coordinator of a children’s team (took part for the first time): «First I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job… Or will not find understanding among children, but Hurray!!! Everything went just well! Organization was great, program cool, participants’ mood positive and kind».
Karina Popova, state employee, was helping with “Fun Starts” (involved since 2003): “It was touching to see such a big number of new volunteers».
Global purposes of the holiday:
Developing personality and social adaptation among orphans and handicapped children; for children to maki better psychological, physical and spiritual progress; propaganda of healthy life-style; making new friends among all participants and fellowship among people from different social groups.
It would be great if this event caused reactions of hope, kindness and love in society, the precious values that give life.
68 children from foster families of Sorokins, Nedotyukovs, Karpenko (Aksayskiy Area); Kulishkins and Ievlivs (Rostov-on-Don),
20 children from the orphanage of Krasnosuslinsky Area in Rostov Region,
12 children – volunteers,
HOPE worldwide – Rostov-on-Don expresses deep gratitude to all who care about children in difficult life situations:
Department of education in Aksakaysky Area
Adoption Department of Aksakaysky Area
Office of traffic police in Rostov Region
Fire Department of All-Russian Voluntary Society
Children’s sanitary camp “Friendship”
Company “Lerua Merlen Rostov-Mega”
Cars’ Center “Avangard”, an official Diller of Opel and Chevrolet
Special thanks to all volunteers! Thank you for Your work! Thank you for Your hearts!
“In a hundred years, my money, my house and my car will mean nothing… But the world can change because I played an important role in a child’s life”. R. Bach