Summer is on it's way, and the Sunflower Centre is preparing for its summer camp for parents who grew up in Russian orphanages and their children. We are all waiting on tenterhooks to see whether the Centre will be awarded a grant by the local authorities to fund the bulk of the cost of the camp, as well as their programme of home visits to families in particular need.
We are confident enough to start making preparations for the camp. First of all this means selecting the families who will take part. Our families are drawn from two groups. There are new families, who are visited at home by our specialists and have serious difficulties in their family relationships. The other group are the old hands, families who have been coming to the parenting club for some time and are more confident in their parenting. Like all parents, they still have much to learn, but they will also be able support the specialists in helping the new families. To take part in the camp families from both groups have to be absolutely committed to improving their relationship with their children. Each family is interviewed and together they work out what they would like to learn during the camp.
Meanwhile, practical preparations are also taken place. The cottage where the camp takes place has a traditional Russian stove, which has been condemned. Fortunately, a donor's generosity is allowing us to rebuild the stove and make it safe so that hot water will be available this summer.
The Sunflower Centre supports families in St Petersburg right through the year. They have recently taken part in a public exhibition with a ballet theme. A doctor has also volunteered to advise the parents on looking after their children's health. If you are interested to know more about this ongoing work, you can find out more in our newsletter.
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