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In Russia, more than one in ten people live in poverty. This means many children grow up amid deprivation and with limited life chances. At our six SOS Children's Villages, we offer love and care to some of the most vulnerable, and help local families provide a strong, stable environment as their children grow up. … more about our charity work in Russia

Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from St Petersburg, Russia

Children in costumes at SOS Children's Village Pushkin
Children in costumes at SOS Children's Village Pushkin

A child sponsorship report from St Petersburg, Russia. Written in 2010.

Dear sponsor,

Today there are 64 children in SOS Children’s Village Pushkin (St. Petersburg). During the period from October 2009 to May 2010 two new children came to the SOS Village. Four children attend nursery. Yet two small children can not go to the nursery due to health problems. One of the girls from CHILDREN’S VILLAGE moved to SOS youth homes St. Petersburg -2. Two children will start their school the coming autumn and one of the girls,  has just finished her first school year successfully. Soon after repair works in SOS youth homes St. Petersburg -2 are finished 12 adolescents will move to SOS youth homes. Valentina from House #7 will soon start her semi-independent living which means that she’ll be living on her own but SOS will support the girl until she finishes her education.

The SOS Children’s Village gives psychological support of internal and external specialists to the children who need psychological aid. The SOS Mothers regularly undergo psychological supervisions. Two SOS Mothers and two SOS Aunts (helpers) took part in an extra-mural training of the programme “Ways to overcome a post-traumatic experience for children: individual approach and professional help”. Several trainings were organized for the SOS Mothers inside the SOS Village.

Children grow fast and as there are more and more teenagers in the SOS Villages it’s very important that children would be engaged in various labor activities. Starting from early spring five of our children took part in a youth programme “Work with the local community”. They were landscaping the territory of the SOS Village. This summer, seven children will participate in tiding up and landscaping of the town of Pushkin for its 300th Anniversary. Owing to our long-lasting cooperation with the charitable foundation “Dar” teenagers will be working in the stables during the summer. Several of our elder children continue working in Grand Hotel Europa. Our children regularly visit various organizations and enterprises to get acquainted with their work. The kids lately visited PEPSI plant and Museum of Bread.

This year our SOS Village took part in a big St. Petersburg project aimed to familiarize children with the museums of the city. The project was launched by Hermitage Museum. The SOS children visited the History of Religion Museum and the Communication Museum. They had very interesting excursions and also several master-classes of famous Russian artists. Soon a book about this project will be published. It will include the works of our children at those master-classes too. Our children again took part in the project “Kind Hands”. The kids did some wood crafts and their works were exhibited in one of the museums. All the project participants were awarded with the opportunity to take part in a children’s fest and a river-boat trip along the rivers and channel of St. Petersburg.

This is the fifth year of our cooperation with the famous St. Petersburg football club “Zenit”. Our children not only regularly visit home matches but also accompany their favourite team on the field before a match begins. 

The SOS Village theatre studio traditionally performs for the World War II veterans. This year the children prepared a special programme dedicated to the 65th Victory Anniversary and performed with it in several elderly people’s home.

Of course, the most important event of 2010 was the 10th Anniversary of the SOS Children’s Village Pushkin. On June 2nd the first part of the celebration took place in Sheremetyevsky Palace. It was dedicated to all the SOS Village Friends. The concert programme was matching with the photo exhibition in the Palaсe lobby prepared by a French married couple of professional photographers. It included 20 photos made in SOS Children’s Village Pushkin earlier this year. The second part of the celebration took place in the SOS Village itself according to our tradition – children’s concert, guests’ congratulation speeches, contests and games, picnic.

Ten years of existence of the SOS Children’s Village and the SOS Family. Is it a long period or not? The time goes so fast when the days are filled with joy and happiness, problems and negotiations, travels and studies. And when the children leave their SOS House they stop and look back at those years. They understand that this was their real home where they were loved and cared. Sweet homes they found thanks to your generosity and hearts full of love to all who is not strong enough and needs support. We appreciate a lot what you are doing for us. You will always be a welcome guest in CHILDREN’S VILLAGE Pushkin.