HOPE worldwide Canada Visit to Moscow
For many years, HOPE worldwide Canada and HOPE worldwide Russia have worked closely together to change lives in Russia. In 2012, Taras Kulish, our International Relations Officer, visited the projects in Moscow that HOPE worldwide Russia runs for the community. He met the staff at their office located in an older apartment building in Moscow’s Marfino District. With The Staff of HOPE worldwide Moscow SENIORS PROGRAM This is a program for charitable seniors’ programs in Moscow. It includes food and medical assistance for needy and disable seniors, equipment, supplies, seniors' birthday and holiday celebration. The Ladies of the Old Friends Home A birthday celebrations and luncheon honoring 46 Russian senior women, all war veterans and heroes was held during his visit. Volunteers sang and played pre-recorded music for the seniors and soon the dancing started. The residents, mostly women, are grateful for the centre. It provides them with fellowship, a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, as well as a weekly meal and a food package. ORPHANS PROGRAM Program for charitable orphans’ programs in Moscow. There is an education and mentoring program, orphans' birthday and holiday celebrations. Taras visited Orphanage #48 and met the orphanage director, Mr. Pushnin. It is where the older boys and girls from age 7 to 18 live, eat, sleep, play and go to school 24 hours a day. The orphanages are self contained and the orphans do not get assimilated into regular school programs. They become institutionalized and the risk of them falling into crime and prostitution once they must leave the orphanage at 18 years of age is extremely high. HOPE worldwide Moscow runs several other programs in orphanages for younger and older children. During his visit, Taras was able to observe the mentoring program run in conjunction with Moscow State University. This program is unique in Russia and is being developed and monitored so that its successes can be duplicated and rolled out to other orphanages. Reflections from Taras; "It was a privilege to go to Moscow to see the programs that HOPE worldwide of Canada has been supporting for so many years. In my view, these periodic visits are good for the relationships they build in addition to the oversight of a program. I was able to talk with Sergey, the director, on many levels and exchange ideas about program, funding and engaging volunteers. I am convinced that it is beneficial to send directors involved in fundraising for overseas projects to the visit the projects in those countries to get an appreciation of how our funds are spent and to come back to Canada more committed about our work and its value."