The Velikoletchansk orphanage is known not only for being the first in Belarus to raise brothers and sisters together, collecting them from different boarding schools, but also for one of its pupils who took part in the international show "You are super. Dances" on NTV.
But now the boarding school is on the verge of closing. Why, - Sputnik correspondent Pavel Vur found out.
Children love the New Year!
Almost everyone loves the New Year. The expectation of a miracle, a festive mood, the smell of tangerines and spruce - all this is given to children by parents, accustoming them from childhood to the fact that all dreams come true on the New Year. Joint decoration of the Christmas tree, gifts, letters to Santa Claus, films and cartoons about New Year's magic - leave a person with a feeling of a real holiday for many years. The family teaches children about the winter holiday.
It is much more difficult to make children who are raised in orphanages believe in a miracle. But the educators are trying.
“Every month every family organizes entertainment here. This month is our turn. We have already made one Belarusian-language presentation, where we talked about the Belarusian national cuisine, sang: we had“Belarusian Vyachorki”, the children need to speak a little Belarusian. And now it's New Year, everything is done with our own hands, we wrote the script ourselves. For a month and a half, we thought and prepared everything. The performance involves not only children from our family, but also from the entire orphanage. For some roles we had a real casting, we very seriously approached the preparation of the performance ", - told Sputnik the teacher of the first family" Love ".
In the Velikoletchansk orphanage there are no groups as such, here are families with educators, a man and a woman, whom the children call "mom" and "dad".
According to the deputy director of the orphanage Leonid Duka, about 40% of the educators are married couples.
“We have the only orphanage in Belarus, where children are raised by both a man and a woman. The masculine principle should be present in upbringing, because a family without a father is not complete, but we still try to teach children to be a family,” Leonid Duk shared.
77 children now live in the Velikoletchansky orphanage. Many of them are brothers and sisters to each other.
“We were the first to start collecting relatives from different orphanages. Some of them were in a preschool orphanage, some were in a boarding school, some were a little behind, and we corrected everyone. We also have a defectologist, and there is a school. And we have reached the norm for brothers and sisters, Vera Duk, director of the Velikoletchansk orphanage, explained to Sputnik.
For the director, this is already 51 Christmas trees in the orphanage. At first, she herself was a pupil here, then she worked as a teacher for five years, and has been a director for more than twenty years.
The orphanage is organizing several matinees this year, two of which have been attended by sponsors and friends. The director of "Marko" Nikolay Martynov has been helping the orphanage for twenty-two years and is the chairman of the board of trustees, "Vitebskenergo" is also a sponsor for more than twenty years, in general, the children have a lot of chefs. They, as well as other guests: customs officers, the "Okhrana" Department of Internal Affairs, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor's Office of the Vitebsk region, representatives of business and government, the children showed the New Year's tale about the insidious Baba Yaga, preventing the coming of the New Year, and how her grandfather destroyed her intrigues Frost with his helpers
At the performances, children were not only actors, but also spectators. Moreover, the audience is grateful: regardless of age, they sincerely empathized with the heroes. The kids tried to tell Del Frost where Baba Yaga hid the key, and the older children watched the performance with bated breath.
Then they were given gifts and tried to give a fairy tale, and they passionately wanted to believe in this fairy tale.
"Over the past twenty years, we have been visiting the orphanage every year for the holidays: New Year, September 1, Children's Day. We always bring sweet gifts, transfer money so that the orphanage can buy gasoline for excursions. But frankly, visits to the orphanage are very difficult worried, because you try on the grief of each child, "- said Alexander Zhedik, a member of the board of trustees of the orphanage, chairman of the trade union committee of" Vitebskenergo "to Sputnik.
You are super!
Only half of the children in the orphanage took part in the New Year holidays. The rest of the children went to Italy for the Christmas holidays.
“Last year I was planned to be taken to Italy by a foster family, but there were problems with documents, and my 'parents' were not allowed to pick me up. But I keep in touch with them,” said Karolina Tumashevich, finalist of the international dance competition “You are super. Dances. on NTV.
The girl loves to dance very much. Every day she spends several hours on her own in a choreography class. There is no dance teacher in the orphanage, so Carolina learns all exercises and movements on the Internet, and then she works them out on her own.
Now she is preparing to enter the Vitebsk State College of Culture and Arts at the Faculty of Choreography, where her older sister is studying, also a pupil of the Velikoletchansk orphanage.
"I love modern dances. At the competition I performed a gypsy girl, which the producer told me to dance, apparently because I am a gypsy myself," the girl shared. "I refused, but he did not listen to me."
She performed the gypsy only for the second time in her life and does not really understand this dance.
Brothers also live with Carolina in the orphanage, one of whom is fond of break dance and also wants to become a choreographer. But, according to the girl, he is lazy, and if he is not constantly forced to work out the movements, then he may not study for a long time.
"I tell my brother: if he likes something, he should strive for it and work on himself!" - Confidence sounds in Carolina's voice.
Carolina is faced with the task of preparing classical dance for admission, and she found paid courses on the Internet that should help her with this.
She is trying to come up with her own dance, where she will combine hip-hop, classics and several other styles. Despite the difficulties, the girl hopes to enter.
All the best for children
In the Velikoletchansk orphanage, there have always been 110-120 people, but over the past year the number of pupils has decreased to seventy-seven.
“In the last year, children have not been sent to the orphanage, moreover, they even separated brothers and sisters, three couples have been disconnected. The young leadership came to the region, they don’t understand. If they called me, asked about the problems, I would tell, but to us nobody addresses! - exclaims Vera Duk.
This spring, the new head of the education department of the Vitebsk regional executive committee, Dmitry Khoma, arrived at the Velikoletchansk orphanage and said that the institution would be liquidated, since the budget did not have money for its maintenance.
As the workers said, in recent years several orphanages have been closed in the region, but the situation with the Druisk orphanage, where billions of rubles have been invested for several years, and which has now also been decided to be liquidated, especially surprised.
“Of course, the very existence of orphanages is not encouraging, since children without parents are always bad, but if some of them need to be closed, then this must be done wisely, so that later at least to use the buildings. For example, in Orsha and Novopolotsk instead of orphanages kindergartens were created in the vacated buildings. In Vitebsk, they simply smashed the building, broke the walls, knocked out the windows and doors, and this is awful! It is necessary to reasonably resolve this issue in order to minimize costs and avoid social tension, since people are left without work, Vera Duk is sure.
The orphanage took over the district, because if the institution were closed, then at least 110 people would be left without work, since after the orphanage it would be necessary to close the school where the orphans studied and the boiler room that heats the building. And 110 unemployed is a lot.
“We do not ask the district for full financial support, if they would help us with paying for utilities, leave our salaries and help a little with food, that would be enough. For twenty years we have developed good connections, we have sponsors who are ready to help., many children go to Italy, where they are given clothes. In general, Italians help a lot, moreover, until recently, they adopted up to thirty people annually. Now, after the procedure for processing documents from Belarus has tightened, it is good if twelve children manage to go to foster families to Italy , - the deputy director of the orphanage Leonid Duk shared with Sputnik.
After the closure of orphanages, children are assigned either to other orphanages or to foster families who readily take the children away, especially in rural areas, where the problem of unemployment is especially urgent.
“Many take their children out of despair. Imagine the family of teachers lost their jobs, where should they go? And so they take three or four children, as far as the area allows, to a foster family and receive a salary of 350 rubles a month. for families, children cost the budget 150 dollars, and in an orphanage - 500 dollars. After all, our salaries are higher, depending on the category of the teacher, and communal apartments, food and clothing cost the budget more. for example, unlike a foster family, where children often leave and do not return when they reach adulthood, we support our children even after they graduate. Sometimes they even spend the night with us. We will try to do everything so that we are not closed! , - said one of the employees of the orphanage.
And there is a possibility that the orphanage, which was the first in the country to start working according to the family type, where the children have a "mom and dad", from where the pupils go to rest in Italy, and where they try to gather brothers and sisters together, and, moreover, "pulling up" the weak to the stronger, will not be closed. In Soviet times, we had a maxim: "All the best for children!", And we should not forget about it.