Our fund manager, Svetlana Kozlova, speaks openly about the conditions of our work and answers questions about why we still go on doing our activities.
We often face with the question: Why is it necessary to do what we do? Sometimes we make unbelievable effort to keep the opportunity of helping children. Why do we do this? There are a lot of government structures that are supposed to support children such as centers of psychological aid, clubs of children education, and, of course, schools. In these institutions there are professionals and different methodologies of children development. So, why don’t we let them organize the teenagers’ free time?
We do something different. The main difficulty is not in communicating with these children – they easily respond to our openness, to our understanding and to the fact that we accept them as they are with all the problems of their age.
The main problem is that it’s getting more and more difficult to work in the conditions of the modern world when legal acts don’t help to develop any activity, but, on the contrary, limit it. Step left, step right – and you are a lawbreaker. We remember the time when we started working with street children: it was a difficult period for the country, but we always had an opportunity to really help children. Not everyone liked the fact that we worked with the street kids, violating the existing law. However, on our side was the article of the Constitution № 26 and even the Prosecutor's Office couldn’t ignore it. In modern Russia, nobody even thinks of the projects like we did in the 90-s. The government will nip the idea on the bud and the Chief Executive could avoid criminal responsibility. It makes us feel really frustrated sometimes, to be honest.
But the other day a young man came to us at Pushkina Street and said that he visited our center “Children without home”. Neither his appearance or his name rang a bell to me (although, I remember a lot of children from this project). It turned out, that he visited us when Tanya and Nastya worked in the center. I asked him what the center brought him and why he decided to come over. Arthur said that the staff of the center helped him to find his way in life. At that time, he misbehaved, skipped school and stole things, but Tanya explained him every time, very “inquisitively” how important it was to review the direction of his life. He repeated this word several times, but there was no irritation in his voice, only warmth. Now he is doing well: he has a job and is the father of 2 children.
Visits like this are what gives us power and inspiration to not give up our activity. It’s worth mentioning that we have several visitors like this every year.