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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 2011, from Pskov, Russia

Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Pskov, Russia

A child sponsorship report from Pskov in Russia. Written in 2011.

Dear sponsor,
SOS Children's Village in Pskov is the fifth Children’s Village built in Russia. Pskov is an ancient city, located in north-western Russia, close to the Estonian border.  Its earliest mention dates back to 903 AD. According to statistics, the number of children left without parental care increases steadily in the region, so local authorities supported the construction of an SOS Children's Village in Pskov. The area, where a plot of land was made available for the construction, offers schools, kindergartens, a hospital and shopping facilities within walking distance.

In September 2008 the first stone was laid to the foundation of the SOS Children’s Village Pskov. The funds raised in Norway for the Children’s Villages were externalized in the construction of 14 family houses, a house for the Village director, Village master, guesthouse and an administration building. It makes possible to provide more than 80 children with a loving new home in SOS families.

The Village became operational in the very end of 2010. 22 December 9 family houses received its first 20 inhabitants – kids! By now the amount of children raised to 38, and 5 more houses are getting ready to welcome up to 20 newcomers this year. For this purpose a new recruitment campaign for SOS mothers is now in progress, the rest of the Village’s personnel are staffed completely.

Most of the children call their SOS mothers “mommy” within their first week in the Village. Some of them, especially older ones, need some time to get used to the new place and new people they can trust. To make the family atmosphere more comfortable SOS mothers receive psychological consultations when needed, this psychological support is provided by specialists of the SOS Social Centre which has been offering its services in Pskov since 2008. The sphere of the Centre’s work includes family strengthening, counseling and psychological support. The family strengthening programme (here in Pskov it is realized as “My Mother Project”) provides support for families, particularly single mothers, to protect and care for their children.

All in all, half a year has passed since the Children’s Village Pskov started functioning, and that was an efficient start. All the staff took their orientation programmes in other Children’s Villages and gained the necessary experience; 4 younger children were placed in local kindergartens and 14 older ones – in local schools, this year 4 more children are going to attend school and 15 will be placed in kindergartens; the territory of the Village was improved by planting of trees and shrubs.

The staff and the kids thank those who make it possible for SOS Children’s Village Pskov to appear and develop and to provide the deprived children with a loving home and a family, just like every child in the world deserve!

Yours sincerely,

Polina Zimarina
National Sponsorship Co-ordinator