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Moscow: Golden Autumn in Old Friends’ Home

This past autumn volunteers from Hope worldwide – Russia organized some very interesting thematic gatherings for seniors as part of a charity program for needy elderly…

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Every Monday, discussions were held exploring how to be kind to those around us and to not remain indifferent to the needs of the people we encounter daily. Various methods were chosen to stimulate the conversations including a cartoon about Winnie the Pooh and a film about Mother Teresa. By drawing an anology from these themes with reality, there were discussions about hospitality, behavior, choices and actions. Everyone could express their own opinion about how easy or difficult it is to be kind and how to respond to those around us who are living in a difficult time where people are becoming more closed and suspicious of each other.

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A culinary competition which expanded into several days turned out to be very interesting, informative and tasty. The program participants were divided into teams and were given the task of working together to prepare a salad from the ingredients provided on the table. The creative process completely captured the whole audience as everyone took his own role in creating the dishes. As they brain stormed together, participants got to know each other better, learned how to find common ground and learned how to work as a friendly team. Eventually, teams presented their culinary creation for an open tasting. Everyone recognized and enjoyed the atmosphere of friendship and joy that prevailed over the desire to win at any cost.

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On another day of the competition, special guest chefs Peter Sargysan and Sergey Abdullayev, gave a master cooking class demonstrating various dishes and sharing their recipes and kitchen secrets. In addition, everyone had the opportunity to make one of their own salads at home in advance and bring it in for a professional evaluation. Following this, everyone who came had an opportunity to sample all of the food prepared. For the elderly guests, this day became a real festival of culinary art. Everyone received memorable rewards and gifts.

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One day, a Game Room was organized by the efforts of everyone. Participants played board games that develop memory and attention; they also learned how to find common ground and to listen to each other, which promoted a friendly atmosphere. It was not the first time Lyavin Nikolay, a volunteer of HOPE worldwide – Russia was paying a visit to the Old Friends’ Home to talk to the elderly, to listen to their stories about life, to encourage them and to participate in this universal charity. Attention and support for the elderly from new volunteers is becoming more regular; this allows them to take high-quality care of the elderly by giving them personal attention.

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It is amazing that the victory in the game was won by Ekaterina Lebedeva who was celebrating her 95th birthday this fall! She said: “… how many times have I played bingo but never won, and now finally the luck. Fortune smiles, even when almost a century has passed.”

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In October, Maria Petrovna Sirotkina,who has been with the Old Friends Home from the very beginning(1998), celebrated her 89th birthday!! For many years she served as head of the Veterans Council of the Marfino District despite her age. Our warmest congratulations and wishes for her to celebrate her 90th birthday with good health and having the same enthusiasm and cheerfulness!
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