In this letter I would like to tell you about another project ran by Step Up. It is a Summer Camp in Belskoye Ustye Orphanage in Pskov Region (about 700 km to the north-west from Moscow).
Belskoye Ustye Orphanage is one of Russia's psychoneurological institutions for children with serious mental and physical disabilities. The orphanage is located in a small village and children are largely deprived of socialising with anyone from the outside world. They interact almost exclusively with their carers and teachers. Each year Summer Camp brings about 20 volunteers from different countries to make holidays for these children who do not leave the orphanage in summer. Volunteers organize games, performances and various developmental activities.
Summer Camp is the mostly waited event of the year in the orphanage and it is great experience for volunteers.
One of volunteers - Viktoria Taesina - shares her impressions:
"Above all I remember the most touching, and the brightest moments of Summer Camp. For example, near to the end we wrote letters to the children. One of the carers told us how Sasha could not be parted from his letter – he slept with it, he went to lunch with it, he always had it with him and was constantly asking for it to be read to him. I remember how, when you were leaving the orphanage, you would hear your name being shouted. You turned round and one of the children was standing at the window, waving at you. At such moments you smile to yourself, and want to come back next year."
This year 3 out of 16 volunteers were Step Up students or graduates! We think that it is a great achivement of Step Up. Those, whom we helped, now help the others!!!
For longer stories with dozens of pictures and even video please follow the link:
I attached a Step Up Newsletter for September 2013 for your attention. It presents a story of the opening ceremony marking the start of new academic year.
A big thank you to all our supporters!!
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