Nadia and Kostya
Thank you for being a part of this unique project for young mothers who grew up in orphanages in St. Petersburg. Your constant support encourages them to continue their journey to building their confidence as parents and discovering a new and positive experience after years of loneliness and isolation of childhood in orphanages.
Our summer camps are kept going thanks to your generous donations through Bonus Days – don’t miss Global Giving’s final Bonus Day of the year on Wednesday, September 16 th! Starting at 9am EDT, Global Giving will be matching online donations at 30% for the first $1,000 per donor per organisation.
Your support is invaluable for young families like Sasha’s and Nadia’s – I met them last May when the Sunflower Centre started preparations for summer camps and they have both been looking forward to this week very much – together with other young women Sasha and Nadia are members of our support group which meets regularly and the summer camp is a valuable way of strengthening their family. This group have different life stories from their past in orphanages but the same strong desire for a new start for themselves and their children.
Every summer the Sunflower Centre organises the summer camp in the village Dolbeniki, Novgorod area. Thanks to your generous support we now have a log cabin, spacious and clean, which can accommodate up to 25 people, including our project team and volunteers. A few local supporters helped us to build a traditional Russian stove and a playground – it is an idyllic place for our young mothers and children to spend their week together.
A great deal of work goes in to teaching young mothers to keep regular contacts with children - this year Sunflower has organised for them joint creative workshops, training of Mums and children “Paying together”, evening groups “ Parent success”, music sessions with Russian folklore, joint trips and interactive game “ The Village”. This game is an innovative and interactive way to teach families to communicate – during the week each family has their own space -home, livestock, role in the community and learn how to communicate with other families.
We ask our young mothers what did they learn to take with them to the city?
Nadia and her son Kostya, age 3
“In the camp I noticed that Kostya is interested in observing things – trees, clouds, birds and replicating bird songs and insect moves, he became much calmer compared to his usual nervousness in the city. He enjoys inventing games and other children follow his ideas. I’ve never seen him so calm – it made me think that I should change myself to give him more space..”
Tania and her son Denis, age 2
“I suffered that my child doesn’t take me seriously and is always laughing at my remarks. We started spending more time together, playing football, running and simply laughing and he began to communicate with other kids, his fear has gone and finally he began to listen to me..”
Anya and her son Kirill, age 2
“In the camp I’ve learned to keep eye contact with Kirill and spend much time enjoying our time together – I’ve discovered my child as never before. Soon after he was born, I stopped spending time with him except when it was necessary to feed him or look after him. I thought he can occupy himself playing with toys while I am busy in the kitchen or on the computer. I was bored with routine things and didn’t understand why he didn’t want to play with other kids at the playground and just stand near me. I didn’t understand why he was going to bed leaving his toys behind as if he said “You can play with these toys yourself if you want to”... This was his first step to keep distance from us. Here at the camp I am so thankful for all the advice and our session leaders and volunteers who help a great deal – Kirill started laughing and enjoying my company and playing with other children – this is a lesson for me that there is a different way to treat your child”..
Sasha and her daughter Liza, age 2
“It is such a relief to know how to keep in contact with your child – and I’ve received such big support and learned new skills from this camp. Sometimes just simply listening helps to find a solution and dissolve your anger - I feel relaxed and able to help myself and my daughter”…
Thank you for being with us on this journey and keep our support group running!
Tania and Denis
Anya and Kirill
Sasha and Liza
Interactive play Village
parent group success