Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth

by Maria's Children Charitable Foundation
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Daily Art Classes for orphanage children and youth
Tanya with her picture about friendship and love
Tanya with her picture about friendship and love

Dear Friends, thank you for your support!

We would like to tell you what happened at the studio and outside during April – June 2018.

Our work is aimed to support orphans, young adults who live in state institutions, graduates from orphanages for their art and psychological rehabilitation and social adaptation. Art classes at the studio continue through a year, every day groups (one or two) keep coming to the studio. In February there was a winter camp for children from orphanage and for young adults, orphanage graduates.

There are more than 200 children and young adults took part art classes. They come to us from such institutions as the following:

- a few Moscow Centers for family education (“Sputnik”, , #1, “Junona”,– these are names for former special correctional boarding schools and orphanages for children-orphans with mental disorders), and orphanage “Sun” from Moscow region (also for children with mental disorders);

 - boarding school #31 for children with musculoskeletal system disorders;

- young adults from a few psycho neurological institutions ( 11, 16, 20) – some of them have been participated at Maria’s Children studio at their childhood, and we didn’t lose our connections. Most of them will spend their whole lives at these institutions. This is sad and this is reality for current period.

- orphanage graduates (they still need support and at the same time they serve as our volunteers);

- family children who overcome oncological diseases and need rehabilitation

Daily art classes.

Every day groups of children (one or two) came to the studio in Moscow. And two days a week groups come to our countryside workshops (our director, Maria arranges a studio at her countryside house, and every Wednesday and Saturday children form orphanage enjoy both art activities and lovely home atmosphere there). There are 10-15 people in the group. They come either by our minibus or by themselves. Children (and it’s even more true for young adults) are happy to leave their orphanages and institutions to spend a few hours in open friendly and creative atmosphere!

Art activities come first: painting and drawing, sculpturing from clay and pottery wheel, sewing and batik, felting and tapestry, mosaic and music, stained glass and theater improvisations, decoupage and collage, and others. Alongside with art our students have a chance to practices cooking skills and studying of foreign languages (both are in great demand and not provisioned by their orphanages).

Children are free to chose what they would like to do and how long, so they can switch a few activities. It’s both great pleasure and valuable experience to do something from the very beginning and achieve nice result, to express themselves in various techniques and materials and receive positive feedbacks. Later some of these works can be exposed at exhibition but in our case creative process and accepting attitude along with open and secure atmosphere is much more important.

Classes end with tea time or dinner cooked by students themselves under guidance of volunteers. Volunteers joined orphanage children for daily art classes and donated their time and skills, and these relations support our children and enrich their communicative and social experience.

We are 21!

Every 17th April we celebrate Maria’s Children birthday. This year we turn 21, now we are of full age for sure) We use to celebrate it with all our children, adults, volunteers and colleagues. Some of our former children came with their own children and that makes us happy! A few days before the celebration we found ourselves with no place and food to celebrate, and wonderful people at OBEDBUFET café saved our party. They provided both space and food, and atmosphere was very festive. Microphone was handed to everybody who wanted singing, declaiming, delivering speeches and felicitations)))

Excursions followed by art workshops.

We visited a few museums this spring:

-       Russian Impressionism museum with a group of young adults from psycho neurological institution #11 (and we had art workshops afterwards),

-       Fine Art Museum named by Pushkin with a group of young adults from psycho neurological institution #16 (and we had lunch afterwards in the very museum, we like such a combination of ancient art and lunch – it was the way of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to celebrate their 70th anniversary),

-       House and museum of Victor Vasnetsov (1848-1926), great Russian artist who pictured a lot of fairytales, with a group of children from boarding school #31 for children with musculoskeletal system disorders,

-       Oceanarium and Planetarium with a group of young adults from psycho neurological institution #16,

-       Museum of decorative and applied arts with a group of children from boarding school #31 for children with musculoskeletal system disorders,

-       Museum of Yury Nikulin, Russian favorite clown with a group of young adults from psycho neurological institution #16 – these is all possible thanks to our volunteers who like to spend their spare time and drag away our people from their closed orphanages.

 

Journey to Beslan

 On 2 - 8 April a group of our volunteers went on a regular trip to Beslan and its environs (the North Ossetia). In 2004 horrible siege happened in the school there, and 333 people were killed (186 children). Maria’s Children come to Beslan every year since 2007 with art rehabilitation program, and children from Beslan come to our summer camps. After years pass (since 2007) some of them become our volunteers and even staff members.

Every year we gather international team of volunteers who offer various workshops for children at the school. Great friend of us, Patch Adams, a father of laugh therapy joined us this year! On the last day the schoolchildren put on a gala-concert where they demonstrated all they had learnt during this period. Our artists created new wall-painting in the school. This exciting process was open to all those wishing and the result appeared to be really beautiful!

 

One of the days was spent in a orphanage in the mountain village Dur-Dur, another day was a trip to Mozdok’ orphanage and rehabilitation center in Vlakikavkaz. There we played clowns’ games and football with the kids and also did wall-painting. We also paid a traditional visit to the orphanage “Khoory Tyn” in the city of Vladikavkaz, where children and personnel always remember us and wait for us impatiently to play games and just to have fun.

Annual river trip “The Boat of Our Hopes”

Every year at the end of May we are gathering all together, all children, volunteers, staff members, and travel to the Bay of Joy, more than 200 people. We celebrate the end of academic year and beginning of summer. While on board of the boat children enjoy picturesque landscapes along riversides, pictured it on paper, had snacks, made photos, sang songs, played table games. Our graduates and volunteers came to the shore beforehand by bus so that to prepare for children different games and activities – rope walking and a hammock, frisbee, badminton and volleyball, painting, make up, and enjoyed communicating with friends. There was a great picnic with a lot of meat, vegetables and other food. On the way back we watched performances prepared just on place, sang songs and danced. All previous years there was a culmination on the arrival of the boat to Moscow when we leased hundreds balloons with our desires into blue skies – but this year we realized that it contaminates environment and replaced balloons with doves.

Daily Art Camp for neighbor children

We work for orphans, but we like and take some efforts that children from families join our studio too. And we are glad to offer them art opportunities, various activities and professionalism of our teachers during summer holidays. Two weeks at the beginning of June our studio was open for all children who had to stay in the city. Our young adults, graduates from orphanages, helped a lot at this camp, they came every day and played with kids!

Thank you from all of us at “Maria’s Children”!

Thank you for your help to lonely children across the oceans and continents!

Love and compassion, and art will overcome all barriers!

Children from Filimonky orphanage
Children from Filimonky orphanage
Birthday cake
Birthday cake
Young adults from psycho neurological institution
Young adults from psycho neurological institution
First time in subway for some of them
First time in subway for some of them
Neighbor children at the studio
Neighbor children at the studio
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Vika and her fantastic animal
Vika and her fantastic animal

Dear Friends, thank you for your support!

We would like to tell you what happened at the studio and outside since the beginning of the year 2018 and until now.

Our work is aimed to support orphans, young adults who live in state institutions, graduates from orphanages for their art and psychological rehabilitation and social adaptation. Art classes at the studio continue through a year, every day groups (one or two) keep coming to the studio. In February there was a winter camp for children from orphanage and for young adults, orphanage graduates.

There are more than 200 children and young adults took part art classes. They come to us from such institutions as the following:

- a few Moscow Centers for family education (“Sputnik”, , #1, “Junona”,– these are names for former special correctional boarding schools and orphanages for children-orphans with mental disorders), and orphanage “Sun” from Moscow region (also for children with mental disorders);

- boarding school for children with musculoskeletal system disorders;

- young adults from a few psycho neurological institutions ( 11, 16, 20) – some of them have been participated at Maria’s Children studio at their childhood, and we didn’t lose our connections. Most of them will spend their whole lives at these institutions. This is sad and this is reality for current period.

- orphanage graduates (they still need support and at the same time they serve as our volunteers);

- family children who overcome oncological diseases and need rehabilitation

Janury and then every day - Daily art classes.

Every day groups of children (one or two) came to the studio in Moscow. And two days a week groups come to our countryside workshops (our director, Maria arranges a studio at her countryside house, and every Wednesday and Saturday children form orphanage enjoy both art activities and lovely home atmosphere there). There are 10-15 people in the group. They come either by our minibus or by themselves. Children (and it’s even more true for young adults) are happy to leave their orphanages and institutions to spend a few hours in open friendly and creative atmosphere!

Art activities come first: painting and drawing, sculpturing from clay and pottery wheel, sewing and batik, felting and tapestry, mosaic and music, stained glass and theater improvisations, decoupage and collage, and others. Alongside with art our students have a chance to practices cooking skills and studying of foreign languages (both are in great demand and not provisioned by their orphanages).

Children are free to chose what they would like to do and how long, so they can switch a few activities. It’s both great pleasure and valuable experience to do something from the very beginning and achieve nice result, to express themselves in various techniques and materials and receive positive feedbacks. Later some of these works can be exposed at exhibition but in our case creative process and accepting attitude along with open and secure atmosphere is much more important.

Classes end with tea time or dinner cooked by students themselves under guidance of volunteers. Volunteers joined orphanage children for daily art classes and donated their time and skills, and these relations support our children and enrich their communicative and social experience.

Cycle of Excursions to the Pushkin Arts Museum followed by art workshops

In November, December and January children from boarding school 31 and Family Care Assistance Center SPUTNIK, as well as orphanage graduates, had a wonderful opportunity to get familiar with the whole display of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Guides of the Museum took into consideration some peculiarities of our children and gave us rather popular and educational tour around ancient collection and impressionism art. Art master classes in linocut, painting and sculpturing followed theoretical course. Lunch at the museum café was quite relevant for always-hungry youngsters.

Winter Camp in Sorochany

On 21-25 February our traditional winter camp at the Sorochany resort near Moscow took place. 10 children from the Family Care Assistance Center “SPUTNIK” spent with us several days full of sports, games and friendship. Everyone mastered mountain skis or snowboards, and did skating. Children helped with cooking and washing dishes. There was a master-class on the art of bookbinding during which we learnt to make notebooks with our own hands! Played and played table-top games. Our Theatre From Wheels prepared a fairy-tale “Twelve Months”, it was a big fun both during rehearsal and the show. Celebrated the 23th February – the Fatherland  Defenders’ Day – and congratulated Defenders of the Studio with a grandiose firework.

A Green Elephant

A cartoon about a green elephant was created by the whole studio. Idea and the lyrics belong to Aleksandr Shishov, our old volunteer, friend, poet and musician. The pictures were drawn at the studio art classes by children and adults from different orphanages (see the long list of artists in the titles). Editing, dubbing – everything was done by our students and volunteers. The whole week after the cartoon was demonstrated to those who created it. It’s so important and pleasant to see that your drawing has become a part of the cartoon, isn’t it? https://youtu.be/pFBLc39_ZEU

Thank you from all of us at “Maria’s Children”!

Thank you for your help to lonely children across the oceans and continents!

Love and compassion, and art will overcome all barriers!

Vanya spreads joy always around him)
Vanya spreads joy always around him)
Sculpturing
Sculpturing
Winter is over))
Winter is over))
Mozaic
Mozaic
At the Museum
At the Museum
At the Museum in Ancient Egypt
At the Museum in Ancient Egypt
At the Museum, Impressionists
At the Museum, Impressionists
Winter camp - Sport and art, and social adaptation
Winter camp - Sport and art, and social adaptation
Winter camp
Winter camp
Authors watch their film "Green Elephant"
Authors watch their film "Green Elephant"
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Serezha came to the studio for the first time
Serezha came to the studio for the first time

Dear Friends, thank you for your support!

We would like to tell you what happened at the studio and outside since the Autumn and until now. We are terribly sorry for keeping silence for some time, it was really “hot” here in November and December when we were raising funds to continue our work)))

 Our work is aimed to support orphans, young adults who live in state institutions, graduates from orphanages for their art and psychological rehabilitation and social adaptation. Art classes at the studio continue through a year, every day groups (one, two and some days three groups) keep coming to the studio. November was extremely “hot”: Annual Exhibition of Maria’s Children Art Center, Annual Charity Ball and annual visit of clowns from all over the world. In December there were many charitable markets and fairs that we participated in.

 There are 200 children and young adults took part art classes. They come to us from such institutions as the following:

 - a few Moscow Centers for family education (“Sputnik”, , #1, “Junona”,– these are names for former special correctional boarding schools and orphanages for children-orphans with mental disorders, “Rainbow” and “Trust” centers unfortunately didn’t come this academic year but we believe we resume cooperation), and orphanage “Sun” from Moscow region;

 - boarding school for children with musculoskeletal system disorders;

 - young adults from a few psycho neurological institutions ( 11, 16, and a new group from psycho neurological institution #20 now comes to the studio on Wednesdays) – some of them have been participated at Maria’s Children studio at their childhood, and we didn’t lose our connections. Most of them will spend their whole lives at these institutions (((

 - orphanage graduates (they still need support and at the same time they serve as our volunteers);

 - family children who overcome oncological diseases and need rehabilitation

 

September and then every day - Daily art classes.

 As soon as academic year began our regular daily activities resumed in full. Every day groups of children (one or two, and even three) came to the studio. There are 10-15 people in the group. They come either by our minibus or by themselves. Children (and it’s even more true for young adults) are happy to leave their orphanages and institutions to spend a few hours in open friendly and creative atmosphere!

 Art activities come first: painting and drawing, sculpturing from clay and pottery wheel, sewing and batik, felting and tapestry, mosaic and music, stained glass and theater improvisations, decoupage and collage, and others. Alongside with art our students have a chance to practices cooking skills and studying of foreign languages (both are in great demand and not provisioned by their orphanages).

 Children are free to chose what they would like to do and how long, so they can switch a few activities. It’s both great pleasure and valuable experience to do something from the very beginning and achieve nice result, to express themselves in various techniques and materials and receive positive feedbacks. Later some of these works can be exposed at exhibition but in our case creative process and accepting attitude along with open and secure atmosphere is much more important.

 Classes end with tea time or dinner cooked by students themselves under guidance of volunteers. Volunteers joined orphanage children for daily art classes and donated their time and skills, and these relations support our children and enrich their communicative and social experience.

 

Every November – Exhibition, Ball and Clowns

 Exhibition of artworks by children-orphans, young adults living in psychoneurological institutions and orphanage graduates

 It was already 21st exhibition of our studio at the Central House of Artists. It’s kind of summary of a year of art and work, results of daily art classes at the studio and at the winter and summer camps. This time it was named “Fantasy’s flight and the hands of creation”. And we are glad to have a chance to introduce the art of disadvantaged children and youth to the wider public. We believe that hundreds of visitors of the exhibition enjoy sincere art of our children and learn more about their problems, dreams, and realities, so some of future volunteers could get interested to take part in our children and join us.

 Children love the exhibition, they can see their works, and works of their friends, they feel themselves like real artists and feel appreciation and deep satisfaction. We had festive opening of the exhibition, all the children gathered. There were many guests including Dr. Patch Adams (who traditionally brought 30 clowns-volunteers from all the world these days to Moscow). We arranged a concert, children performed themselves, but clowns dramatically were late and missed the concert because of Moscow traffic jam. During these days (from 4th to 19th November) children come to the exhibition and have art classes there.

 Annual Charity Ball

 On 9th  November the annual Charity Ball of Maria’s Children Art Center took place at Smirnov’s House, one of Moscow’s beautiful historic mansion built in Modern style by Phyodor Shechtel. The event’s programme included a gourmet dinner, dance performance by children from the Filimonki children’s home, live music, loud and silent charity auctions of Maria’s Children students works, lottery, gift fair and dances.

 This time our dear guests donated over 7 millions Roubles (approximately $120,000). We cordially thank all those who support our programs of art rehabilitation and social adaptation for children and orphanage graduates, young residents of psychoneurological institutions and special needs children.

 Most of the funds were donated by our guests during the charity auction of Maria’s Children students works. It was held, as usual, by the famous doctor-clown Patch Adams, the studio’s old friend. The lot which caused most emotional reactions and brought Maria’s Children the largest sum was a picturesque historical door of the studio’s toilet. We “sold” the door every year for more than 1o years already and the door itself remains in the studio. Every new “owner” of that door becomes a member of the Door Owners Club which consist of prominent businessman and philanthropists – friends of Maria’s Children, some of them do it a few times)

 Clowns’ visit

 Every November we host an international group of clowns-volunteers and professionals led by Dr.Patch Adams. Patch Adams is a founder of laughter therapy and hospital clowning, and is very famous and demanded for his clowns’ missions and inspirational lectures all over the world. Clowns come to Russia every year to support children in hospitals and orphanages and bring joy to all those who sharply is in need. More than 30 people from different countries (USA, Canada, Italy, Netherland, Japan, Great Britain etc.) are visiting children and lonely people in hospitals and orphanage and those who are sick at homes. We are happy to help Patch and clowns to meet with children and adults here, in Moscow and be part of their team, and are very grateful for their great help and contribution!

 Thank you from all of us at “Maria’s Children”!

Thank you for your help to lonely children across the oceans and continents!

Love and compassion, and art will overcome all barriers!

guys come by their own from psychoneurological ins
guys come by their own from psychoneurological ins
Katya and her first sculpture
Katya and her first sculpture
Olya and our guest, a dog-therapist Raily)))
Olya and our guest, a dog-therapist Raily)))
Vika
Vika
Ira is from Beslan, now she is our teacher
Ira is from Beslan, now she is our teacher
Children from orphanage "Sputnik"
Children from orphanage "Sputnik"
Poster of our exhibition
Poster of our exhibition
Tanya at the exhibition among her pictures
Tanya at the exhibition among her pictures
Patch Adams is leading the charitable auction
Patch Adams is leading the charitable auction
The Winner of the Door at the charitable auction
The Winner of the Door at the charitable auction
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Summer camp "Our Family" - almost all participants
Summer camp "Our Family" - almost all participants

Dear Friends, thank you for your support! We hope that you could enjoy summer time!

We would like to tell you what happened at Maria’s Children studio and outside in June, July, and August 2017.

Our work is aimed to support orphans, young adults who live in state institutions, graduates from orphanages for their art and psychological rehabilitation and social adaptation. Art classes at the studio continue through a year, every day groups (one, two and some days three groups) keep coming to the studio.

There are 200 children and young adults take part in art classes. They come to us from such institutions as the following:

 - A few Moscow Centers for family education (“Sputnik”, “Rainbow”, #1, “Junona”, “Trust” – these are new names for former special correctional boarding schools and orphanages for children-orphans with mental disorders), and orphanage “Sun” from Moscow region;

 - Boarding school for children with musculoskeletal system disorders;

 - Young adults from a few psycho neurological institutions ( 11, 16, 30) – some of them participated at Maria’s Children studio at their childhood, and we didn’t lose our connections. Most of them will spend their whole lives at these institutions (((

 - Orphanage graduates (they still need support and at the same time they serve as our volunteers);

 - Family children – among them those who overcome oncological diseases and need rehabilitation, and local children who live in neighborhood.

 Daily art classes.

 In summer some of our children leave Moscow for summer camps with their orphanages, so we meet them again in September. But other institutions (like psycho neurological ones and former orphanages for mentally disabled children) stay in the city in summer too, they keep coming to the studio, and our summer camp is the only chance for them to enjoy summer time.

 What happened outside the studio.

 Summer camp “Our Family”

 From 15 to 29 July Maria’s Children traditional (19th) Summer camp “Our Family” took place. Children from the Family Care Assistance Center “Yunona” (Moscow), children’s home “Solnyshko” (Filimonki settlement) and children’s home of Mozdok (North Ossetia), as well as 5 children from psychoneurological institution, spent two weeks, full of bright events, love and care, at the Sorochany Resort in the Moscow region. Volunteers from Moscow, Beslan, Mexico and USA joined our team to make these days unforgettable and fill the kids and each other with warmth and joy for the year to come.

 As usual, the camp started with the amazingly beautiful ceremony of becoming a member of the Elephant, Zebra, Lions or Giraffe family.

 In mornings we held master-classes devoted to: painting en plein-air, Tiffany glass, singing under accompaniment of guitar, making felt toys, drawing a collective picture, quilling, creating hair accessories, and dolls-talismans, fret-cutting, mosaic, molding from natural and polymer clay. We also learnt the secrets of origami, ebru, tie-dyeing, glass painting etc. A volunteer from Mexico, Fano, taught us elements of capoeira and various rhythms. A volunteer from Beslan, Khetag, entrusted us secrets of putting puzzles such as Rubic’s Cube, Pyramide together. The kids even called the master-class “Khetag’s Pyramid”. Some kids wanted not only to participate in master-classes but also share their skills with others. For example, Vova from Filimonki announced and held a master-class on weaving resin bracelets and Sveta – master-class on making African cornrows from hair.

 After dinner there was “family time” during which we sang songs, shot videos, staged performances, played games and cooked delicious things. If the weather was good we went swimming. On one of the evenings our volunteers from Beslan and Mozdok arranged an “Ossetian Evening”. In its first part we enjoyed Ossetian dances and in the second - Ossetian pies. The Mad Hair-dresses and Disco Night proved once again that people of art can create anything from everything, and that original ideas never wane. Lyosha Zh., one of graduates who’s dream to become an actor, prepared and held the Evening of Poetry. First, he cited poems and prose himself and then all those wishing could perform as well. Hope it will become our every-year tradition from now on! One day the Club of Traditional Cossack Song “Petrov Val” visited our camp. The guests sang beautiful folk songs and told us stories about the Terek Cossacks. On Saturday the whole camp took part in the “Theatre from Wheels”, an improvised performance which was prepared within just two hours. This time our stage director Alexander Shishov made a creative adaption of the Russian folk tale “The Flying Ship” for us. Each family presented one of parts of this epopee, everyone was at his best.

 “The Big Game” is one more tradition of our camp – a long quest in which the children, divided into teams, pass through different stations meeting different creatures and fulfilling their tasks in order to help the main hero. This year our goal was to help the Mermaid get her human look back so that she could also run and play with the kids. The children felt pity for the poor Mermaid, they bravely took maps and set out on a search of Magic Stones with the help of which the poor thing could be released. We met the witch Baba Yaga and Koshchei, Red Indian Chief and the Doctor Powderpill with Bacillus, Kikimora and Mummy, Talking Balloon and Green You-Hoo. There was also a special station invented by mothers with babies (there were lots of them this year – a real baby-boom in our studio!). They taught the kids to swaddle babies, wear a sling, make rattles and sing lullabies. Having overcome all the trials we not only saved the Mermaid but also found a whole trunk of Kinder-Surprises!

 Closer to the end of the camp eventually a summer heat came to Sorochany and we went to the pond to ride a banana – the children’s favorite entertainment. Though, later in the evening all the impressions from the banana faded as our new friends-bikers from Moscow and Dmitrov visited the camp. Motorcycles and quad-bikes roared and reared, not only the kids but adults were blown away by the show. Moreover, the bikers offered all those wishing to take them for a ride.

 Play “Little Boy and Karlson”, staged by Vladimir Belousov with our staff members, volunteers and graduates also debuted in our summer camp. The children laughed and applauded a lot! Now we are thinking to present this play in orphanages.

 On the last day we organized a traditional exhibition of all that had been created during master-classes, so that everyone could get an eyeful of children’s talents. On the final concert all the families demonstrated their family-made films, performances and songs. We consider life in families very important as there is a more deep communication between children and volunteers. Friendships appearing here continue, even when the camp is over. The camp ended in a long, warm Goodbye and many-many hugs. The kids left with pictures and heart-warming memories. They have evidently become more mature and we hope happier.

 For those who stayed in Moscow we arranged a few city and country excursions:

 Around Moscow we stroll!

 On the 2nd of August we had an unforgettable walk around the Tverskoy boulevard and nearby lanes with the young people from psychoneurological institution N11. It was a real journey for them! Besides, we learnt that long-long time ago the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin walked along the same streets and even stayed in some of the old houses we had seen on our way. As we went on, we noticed a children’s playground and started to swing on swings, slide down a slide and even overcame rope barriers with enthusiasm – it was a complete plunge into childhood! Moreover, we tried ourselves as sportsmen at special spots-grounds arranged at the boulevard in the framework the Moscow Summer Festival. It was hard to tear our young people off from the basketball baskets, mini-bowling, mini-golf and skateboard slides. Everyone (without exceptions!) appeared to be very sportive. On our way further we also saw many theatres, monuments, churches, took pictures in front of the Moscow Conservatory and St. Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral where the Education Center “Step Up” is located. It was the first time the young people visited this cathedral and saw the real organ.

 At the Exhibition “Wonders of Russia”

 On the 4th of August our students from the psychoneurological institution N16 attended a multimedia exhibition “Wonders of Russia” at the State Historical Museum. The group was joined by a student from Indonesia – Fikha, who came to Moscow to volunteer. There we watched a slideshow of different natural wonders of our country. We saw lava running out of Kamchatka volcanos, admired the Valley of Geysers and sat under the starry heaven besides Lena Pillars, floated over the Elbrus Mountain and Karelia lakes, found ourselves in a snowstorm on the Lake Baikal and learnt about where does salt come from to our tables – it is the Lake Baskunchak in the Astrakhan region! We also admired beauty of such architectural chef-d-oeuvres as the Moscow’s famous St. Basil's Cathedral, wooden ensemble of Kizhi, fortress Naryn-Kala in Dagestan.

 International picnic at Kolomenskoe

On 27 of July a big picnic for young people from the psychoneurological institution N16 and foreign students was arranged at the Moscow State Museum-Reserve Kolomenskoe.

On 27 of July a big picnic for young people from the psychoneurological institution N16 and foreign students was arranged at the Moscow State Museum-Reserve Kolomenskoe. First, we got acquainted with the students. Each one introduced him or herself – what country he or she was from and what profession he or she was mastering. There were students from Africa (including Ghana, Senegal, Algeria), Turkey, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Romania, Egypt, Indonesia, China, Peru and other countries. Our young people taught dear guests a Russian folk game “Rucheyok” (“Brooklet”), after which we held a “mummy-wrapping” competition, flew kites and ate a huge watermelon.

 At the Zoo

 On 26 July a group of people from the psychoneurological institution N16 visited the Moscow Zoo. There they could watch such animals as white tiger, lynx eating its prey, giraffe, elephant and even fur seal, as well as noble eagles,crowned cranes and flamingos. But most of all everyone was fascinated by goats from the contact-zoo. They approached the visitors with pleasure and asked to pat them. The sheep were more difficult to touch as they were less domesticated, but we tried our best! Vasya made friends with an African goat and Masha managed to tame a timid lamb, while many of the group were lucky to caress a cockl. Visually impaired Andrey was also deeply involved in the process of interaction with the Zoo inhabitants – he touched them with great interest and also investigated sculptures of animals with his hands. Thank you very much, our dear volunteers, for accompanying the group!

 Visit to the Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve

 In June a group of young adults from the psychoneurological institution 11, our artists and volunteers went to the Prioksko-Terrasny State Biosphere Nature Reserve. There we saw American and European bisons, learnt about how they differ from each other, listened to an interesting story about their habits and habitat conditions. The group also had a lucky opportunity to visit the Nature Museum. The long and insightful journey ended in a plein air and a picnic on the bank of the Oka river.

 Thank you from all of us at “Maria’s Children”!

Thank you for your help to lonely children across the oceans and continents!

Love and compassion, and art will overcome all barriers!

Summer camp - Nina
Summer camp - Nina
Summer camp - Eduard
Summer camp - Eduard
Summer camp - glass workshop
Summer camp - glass workshop
Summer camp - jigsaw workshop
Summer camp - jigsaw workshop
Summer camp - mosaic workshop
Summer camp - mosaic workshop
Summer camp - Tanya and Nastya, American volunteer
Summer camp - Tanya and Nastya, American volunteer
Summer camp - play Theatre-on-wheels
Summer camp - play Theatre-on-wheels
Summer camp - Banana riding
Summer camp - Banana riding
Excursion to Nature Reserve and plein air there
Excursion to Nature Reserve and plein air there
At the Zoo
At the Zoo
International picnic
International picnic
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Misha enjoys river boat trip
Misha enjoys river boat trip

Dear Friends, thank you for your support!

We would like to tell you what happened at Maria’s Children studio and outside in March, April and May 2017.

Our work is aimed to support orphans, young adults who live in state institutions, graduates from orphanages for their art and psychological rehabilitation and social adaptation. Art classes at the studio continue through a year, every day groups (one, two and some days three groups) keep coming to the studio.

There are 200 children and young adults take part in art classes. They come to us from such institutions as the following:

- A few Moscow Centers for family education (“Sputnik”, “Rainbow”, #1, “Junona”, “Trust” – these are new names for former special correctional boarding schools and orphanages for children-orphans with mental disorders), and orphanage “Sun” from Moscow region;

- Boarding school for children with musculoskeletal system disorders;

- Young adults from a few psycho neurological institutions ( 11, 16, 30) – some of them participated at Maria’s Children studio at their childhood, and we didn’t lose our connections. Most of them will spend their whole lives at these institutions (((

- Orphanage graduates (they still need support and at the same time they serve as our volunteers);

- Family children – among them those who overcome oncological diseases and need rehabilitation, and local children who live in neighborhood.

Daily art classes.

Every day groups of children (one or two, and even three) are supposed came to the studio. But in winter time unfortunately some of our orphanages keep their children closed in their institutions because of flu quarantine and there were days when children didn’t come. There are 10-15 people in the group. They come either by our minibus or by themselves. Children (and it’s even more true for young adults) are happy to leave their orphanages and institutions to spend a few hours in open friendly and creative atmosphere!

 Art activities come first: painting and drawing, sculpturing from clay and pottery wheel, sewing and batik, felting and tapestry, mosaic and music, stained glass and theater improvisations, decoupage and collage, and others. Alongside with art our students have a chance to practices cooking skills and studying of foreign languages (both are in great demand and not provisioned by their orphanages and school programs).

 Children are free to chose what they would like to do and how long, so they can switch a few activities. It’s both great pleasure and valuable experience to do something from the very beginning and achieve nice result, to express themselves in various techniques and materials and receive positive feedbacks. Later some of these works can be exposed at exhibition but in our case creative process and accepting attitude along with open and secure atmosphere is much more important.

 Classes end with tea time or dinner cooked by students themselves under guidance of volunteers. Volunteers joined orphanage children for daily art classes and donated their time and skills, and these relations support our children and enrich their communicative and social experience.

 What happened outside the studio.

 “Public Recognition” Award

 On the 13th of March a “Public recognition-2017” award ceremony took place in Moscow. Maria’s Children Art Center, representing the Tverskoy district of the Moscow Central administrative division, took the II prize in the nomination “Volunteers of the Year”. Maria’s Children old friend and help-mate from the USA Debbie Sears who happened in Moscow those days was awarded the laureate diploma on behalf of our volunteers.

 At the ceremony Debbie said: “Maria’s Children Art Center’s mission is to help orphaned children. I’m a very old volunteer of theirs, it’s my sixteenth visit to Russia now in this role. A huge part of the Center’s work is done thanks to volunteers, there are many of us and we love our work and our children. We are sincerely grateful for such a prestigious award! Thank you so very much!”

 Debbie is speech therapist in a clinic in Texas; she first met with Maria’s Children when she was in clown tour to Russia with Patch Adams. And since then Debbie comes to us many times, and this summer she again will be here at our summer camp. We love Debbie so much, we endlessly grateful to her for her deep involvement and her loving heart!

 Exhibition at the Public Chamber of Russia

 On the 15th of March an exhibition of photography, paintings and Applied and Decorative arts opened at the Public Chamber of Russia. All the artists are winners of the First charitable competition “Special Talents – 2017”. “Maria’s Children” presented 18 works of our students - pictures and ceramics - at the display. At the opening of the exhibition our arts teacher Natalia Pushkina and one of our students Oleg L. (he lives in the psycho neurological institution N16) met with a well-known singer Diana Gurtskaya. It’s very important for our students to receive public appreciation of their art!

 Games with Agroterra

 On the 18th of March we spent a wonderful day at the “Lipki” recreation center in the Moscow region together with children from the Family care assistance center “Sputnik” and members of Agroterra company. This is the way for that company to support Maria’s Children, and for us and our children it is another good day spent with good people when we share and exchange our experience and play together.

We started with getting to know each other and warming-up, after which we proceeded with performance games such as “Taxi”, “Boss” and our favourite “Clown’s Telegraph”.

After the dinner we staged performance “The Puss in Boots” in the format of “theatre from wheels” – a method which enables you to stage a whole play involving, say, sixty actors in just two hours. Our children, graduates and volunteers, and Agroterra members and their children gathered together and then split in five teams, each preparing its own play. The performance turned out to be funny and sincere.

Journey to Beslan

 On 2 - 8 April a group of our volunteers went on a regular trip to Beslan and its environs (the North Ossetia). In 2004 horrible siege happened in the school there, and 333 people were killed (186 children). Maria’s Children come to Beslan every year since 2007 with art rehabilitation program, and children from Beslan come to our summer camps. After years pass (since 2007) some of them become our volunteers and even staff members.

 Every year we gather internationals team of volunteers who offer workshops for children at the school. This time our Moscow team was joined by Ginevra and Italo from Italy, Guillaume from Canada, Simon from the Great Britain and Chip from the USA. On the last day the schoolchildren put on a gala-concert where they demonstrated all they had learnt during this period. To everyone’s joy we finally finished wall-painting in the school gym that we had started several years ago. This exciting process was open to all those wishing and the result appeared to be really beautiful! By the way, there are portraits of Chip and Guillaume on the wall – children don’t want to part with their favorites!

 One of the days was spent in a orphanage in the mountain village Dur-Dur. There we played clowns’ games and football with the kids and also did wall-painting. We also paid a traditional visit to the orphanage “Khoory Tyn” in the city of Vladikavkaz, where children and personnel always remember us and wait for us impatiently to play games and just to have fun.

 We are 20!

 On 15 of April, Saturday, we celebrated 20th Anniversary of Maria’s Children Art Center on the “Bryusov Ship”.

 Children and young adults from all the orphanages we support, orphanage graduates, volunteers, former and present staff members, donors, partners gathered together at this homey party. Some of our graduates came with their children. And even our former students came from psycho neurological institutions who have no possibilities to take part in our regular art classes but still keep good remembrances of the studio and its people.

 The event was opened by the Family Care Assistance Center “Sputnik” wind band directed by Igor Naumovich Greengouse, with whom we have been friends almost all these 20 years.

 The children brought their “presents” – dances, songs, pictures. There was also an exhibition of collective pictures of different years, all-prize charitable lottery, a performance by illusionist, our dear clown Guillaume tamed his unicycle, we enjoyed a chocolate fountain and a huge cake! Thanks to everyone, it was so wonderful and heart-warming!

 Hello, England!

On 20-25 April we made our regular trip to England where we took part in the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon for the 8th time. This year our graduates presented “The Knights’ Dance”, based on a musical fragment from the ballet “Romeo and Juliet” by the famous Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev.

 The dance was staged by Lesha Golubkin, our graduate, but other participants also offered their suggestions during rehearsals – for example, a fabulous somersault by Lesha Zh. in the drop-scene. The team started rehearsing in Moscow but the final version of the dance took its shape in England. To everyone’s pleasure, in Stratford we were joined by our dear Doctor-clown Patch Adams from the USA and a puppet master Leo Kondakov from St.Petersburg.

 The Saturday morning started with a traditional Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade. This year the event was not attended by so many people as the previous time, but for us it happened to be the most interactive of all: our students communicated with the public with great enthusiasm and even involved it into dancing!

 On that day we performed twice – the guys and the girls danced, then Patch came out again citing Shakespeare’s sonnets while Leo Kondakov was making an improvised puppet show. Every time we gathered a crowd around us. The children were excited with Leo’s puppets, some people recognized Patch and approached to talk with him. Our students were also welcomed very warmly.

 We had very intensive and interesting program for our students (Warrick castle where they danced again, Butterfly Farm, the Mechanical Art and Design Museum, Shakespeare’s mother’s farm where we danced once more, King Edward VI School and short journey to Oxford) and in London we met our dear friends Olga Makharinsky and Simon Joseph.

 Annual river trip “The Boat of Our Hopes”

Every year at the end of May we are gathering all together, all children, volunteers, staff members, and travel to the Bay of Joy, more than 200 people. We celebrate the end of academic year and beginning of summer. While on board of the boat children enjoy picturesque landscapes along riversides, pictured it on paper, had snacks, made photos, sang songs, played table games. Our graduates and volunteers came to the shore beforehand by bus so that to prepare for children different games and activities – rope walking and a hammock, frisbee, badminton and volleyball, painting, make up, and enjoyed communicating with friends. There was a great picnic with a lot of meat, vegetables and other food. On the way back we watched performances prepared just on place, sang songs and danced. Then there was a moment when everybody deep into their own intimate and strong desires, wrote it on notes and attached it to balloons. Culmination was on the arrival of the boat to Moscow when we leased hundreds balloons with our desires into blue skies.

 Plein air at Kuskovo

 One needs to say that it was rather cold spring here, and May was not rich with warm days. So on one of the warm days we decided to use this rare chance and arrange a plein air at Kuskovo (kind of villa of 18th century) for young people from psycho neurological institution #11. Our guys were inspired by beatiful old park and architecture and pictured it!

Thank you from all of us at “Maria’s Children”!

Thank you for your help to lonely children across the oceans and continents!

Love and compassion, and art will overcome all barriers!

Sergey and Sasha are decorating frame with mosaic
Sergey and Sasha are decorating frame with mosaic
Debbie, our volunteer from US (on the right)
Debbie, our volunteer from US (on the right)
Volunteers in Beslan - Chip and Guillaume
Volunteers in Beslan - Chip and Guillaume
Beslan kids
Beslan kids
Maria's Children Birthday - Maria
Maria's Children Birthday - Maria
Celebration of Shakespeare's birthday
Celebration of Shakespeare's birthday
Tanya and Galya - River boat trip
Tanya and Galya - River boat trip
Plein air at Kuskovo
Plein air at Kuskovo
Plein air at Kuskov0
Plein air at Kuskov0
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Organization Information

Maria's Children Charitable Foundation

Location: Moscow, Moscow region - Russia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Maria Eliseeva
Moscow, Moscow region Russia

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