A family orphanage is one of the forms of placing orphans. It differs from an ordinary orphanage in that the teacher does not come there as to work, but lives with the children. The first such institution in the country was the Korganovs' orphanage. Today, the son of Tatyana Korganova, who created this orphanage, is trying to revive it, but local officials do not want to transfer the building to him. Why the authorities do not go to meet the man - the RT correspondent found out.
“Oktyabrskaya, 180, - I give the address to the Stavropol taxi driver. "Do you know the Korganovs' house?"
“Of course, a famous place. Only something has not been heard about him for a long time,”the taxi driver answers me.
According to one version, in 1989, Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev visited Finland, saw family orphanages there and decided to create something similar in the USSR. For the experiment, Gorbachev chose his native Stavropol Territory. The teacher of the local orphanage, Tatiana Korganova, was instructed to open a new type of orphanage.
According to another version, the idea came from Korganova herself. A large one-story house was allocated for the new institution, in which a local priest lived even before the revolution. In 1989, Korganova was settled there with her two sons and 18 pupils. For an ordinary family it is quite normal, but for such a family it is clearly cramped. Therefore, right in the same courtyard, the state in 1991 began to build a two-story building - with bedrooms, a dining room, a gym, etc. The moment turned out to be not the most successful - it was possible to rent a room ready for children to live only in 1996.
“This is my mother,” Mileri Korganov takes out of the house a large photograph in a wooden frame. “And around her is the very first group that was taken in 1989. Children are anywhere from two to ten years old. This is Olya Dobrynina, she became a flight attendant, now on maternity leave. And this one is in Moscow, she teaches dancing. The other is an English teacher. Do you recognize this tanned man? Well this is Grisha …"
Already a gray-haired 45-year-old Mileri is the middle son of Tatiana Korganova. My own son. There is also an older brother, Arthur, and a younger brother, Yaroslav, who was adopted at the age of two. In addition to them, another 47 pupils, or so-called adopted children, grew up in the Korganovs' house from 1989 to 2007.
“After the death of my parents, I ended up in an orphanage, where Tatyana Vasilievna turned out to be my teacher,” says the same Grisha, already 38-year-old Grigory Pashchenko. - When I was in the fourth grade, my mother - yes, I call Korganova my mother - created a family orphanage, where she took me as part of the very first group. And I was the oldest there. Of course, the difference with an ordinary orphanage is enormous. It is one thing for staff who come to work in the morning and leave in the evening, and quite another when they constantly live with you, like in a family. I think that I succeeded in life only thanks to my mother. After school he entered the Stavropol Pedagogical Institute at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. But at the age of 18 he wrote an application to the army. Upon his return, he did not study - he went to a construction site. Now I work as a foreman."
A little later, another girl from the photograph, Yulia Khropal, arrives. Already with two of my daughters.
“She lived in the Korganovs' house from eight to 19 years old. Until 1997. We grew up like an ordinary family,”Yulia recalls. - "There were just a lot of us, about twenty."
“I remember celebrating the New Year. Mileric dressed up as Santa Claus, and we were waiting for him at the window, when at 12 o'clock he knocked on the door with gifts. It was good,”says Yulia.
“We constantly participated in some city events - performed with songs, dances. Every year we went to the sea. Personally, I also went to Moscow. Mom taught us everything - they washed, cleaned, cooked themselves. Sewed. Mom gave me a typewriter - she sewed panties for children. When she had already left to live on her own, she came here a stove for children (Julia unlearned to become a cutter-fashion designer, but became a cook.- RT). We were all like brothers and sisters here. And now we are friends, and Mileri is my godfather,”the woman said.
We are conducting this whole conversation near that very famous house. It is quite a neat two-story building with a small courtyard. In front of the facade there are several swings, a lawn, a tiny round pond lined with stones, and a gazebo. The gate is closed. We will later find the huge sign “House of the Korganovs” that once adorned them behind the barn near Mileri.
Mileri himself and other relatives of Tatiana Korganova live as owners in a neighboring one-story house. And since 2008 there are no children in this building. As well as there is no more and the famous adoptive family of the Korganovs.
In addition to the classic orphanage, there are four more forms of orphans in Russia. The most honest and humane is adoption. The child's birth certificate is changed, in which the new parents appear. They, accordingly, receive exactly the same duties and rights as biological mom and dad. Only in this way can a person find a real family.
A form close to this is guardianship. It is usually drawn up by relatives - grandmothers, uncles. It's strange to be called mom or dad here, but the state gives the guardian a monthly allowance. But it is for the sake of these benefits that the actual adoptive parents are sometimes registered by the guardians.
The so-called foster family has nothing to do with adoption. Any person with suitable living space can create it. If the requirements for an adoptive parent are met, the state can give him up to 8 children for upbringing. Pay for this "work" remuneration, as well as an allowance for the maintenance of each child. Plus there are benefits, in particular, for utility bills. There are few differences from a family orphanage, but they are important. In a foster family, the “parent” spends both benefits and possible sponsorship money, without reporting to anyone.
A family orphanage is a state institution. Here housing, its renovation, furnishings, payment for utilities are a problem of the state. The teacher receives a salary, and for each - both state and private - he is obliged to report a penny. As well as toys, furniture and other things donated by sponsors.
There is not a single family orphanage left in today's Russia - all have been re-registered as foster families. It's more profitable this way.
And Tatyana Korganova also re-registered with a foster family in the early 2000s.
Legend with a crack
The problems began in 2004, when Korganova applied to the Stavropol municipality for permission to privatize a two-story building.
All the children registered there - at that time there were 21 - were to become owners. The officials refused. And in order to remove the issue forever, they transferred the house from city property to regional property. Checks have begun on the implementation of family law, with simultaneous proposals to vacate the premises. The foster family seems to be supposed to find their own living space, and not occupy the state one.
“This has already happened here,” says Sergei Popov, head of the People's Council of the South of Russia. - The orphanage in the forest zone of the city was converted into the residence of the then governor Gaevsky. There and now the residence."
Mileri is sure that it was the battle for the house that crippled the mother's health. In 2007, she was already so sick that she could no longer take care of the children. A team of educators from the state orphanage was sent to the already former House of the Korganovs. And in 2008, Tatyana Korganova herself passed away. Around the same time, a crack was discovered in the wall at the level of the second floor. The children were moved to an orphanage. And in the former House of the Korganovs, recognized as unfit for habitation, they have since tried to accommodate various divisions of the regional Ministry of Education. The archive is now listed there. But in reality, the building has been empty for a long time.
For 11 years Mileri has been fighting to return it to his children - he wants to continue the work of matter, to create a new foster family in it. But so far to no avail.
“The house has sunk and requires very expensive repairs.And as for Mileri Arkadievich himself, if he really wanted to create a foster family, he would have done it long ago, - says the Deputy Minister of Education of the Territory Galina Zubkova. - And then, he was offered other premises to create a new family orphanage. He didn't want to."
"You are all here - a mistake of nature"
“Grigory and Yulia found another house, before Korganova's illness. Then everything was fine, - says another pupil Mikhail Androsov. - And then she had an operation on her eyes. I began to wear glasses. Buried her husband, mother-in-law. She began to break down on children - it was just a different person."
Korganova took Misha from the orphanage at the age of four. He lived in a foster family until the age of 14, when in 2007, together with the last group, he was transferred to an orphanage. Now he is 25 years old, but he is still offended by his mother Tanya.
“We ate like dogs,” from metal bowls. They drank from metal mugs. There was glass, but we weren't supposed to break everything. The forks weren't supposed to - only spoons."
Androsov's words are confirmed by another pupil, who asked not to be named: “All the best was for her sons and granddaughters, Mileri's daughters. The best toys that sponsors brought. They raised us with a fist. Both she and Mileri. We were constantly told: they say, all of you here are a mistake of nature."
“And when she fell ill, we lived with a guilt complex - they said that we were to blame for her illness. We only went to school. They didn’t let out for some circles, sections, but they simply didn’t let out for a walk outside the yard,”the source says.
Misha also has a more serious claim to Korganova - she did not treat him.
“I was born with cerebral palsy and until the age of 16 I was crawling on all fours,” says Mikhail. He still moves with the help of a walker. - Tatiana Vasilievna was offered many times to send me for an operation, they came from different institutes, Moscow, St. Petersburg. They said: "We take." And she: "No, you don't." I didn’t want to mess around because it’s very troublesome. And if in 2007, when we were transferred to the orphanage, Elena Evgenievna (meaning the director of the orphanage N9 Elena Pobeipech. - RT) had come on September 1, as planned, and not 16 days earlier, then I would not have been sitting in front of you. I was supposed to be transferred to a boarding school for the disabled. There was a certificate that I had no intellect at all”.
According to Misha, it was only thanks to Elena Pobeipech in 2008 that they started doing it. At the age of 16, an operation was performed in St. Petersburg - since then he can stand and at least somehow move independently.
“I was then told that everything was very neglected. And if they had had the operation at least eight years earlier, then maybe I would have walked like a healthy person,”recalls Misha.
In addition to him, according to Elena Pobeipech, there was another disabled person - Kolya. He had a hump. And he did an operation to correct his hump only after he was transferred to an orphanage.
“Treatment under a quota is free. And for everything else, for example, air tickets, we also collected sponsors, - Pobeipech recalls. - And Misha's diagnosis of oligophrenia was removed. True, he did not manage to get a full-fledged secondary education - after all, until the age of 13, he, almost all the time sitting on the bed, was not taught at all. When he was able to walk, he acquired two working specialties: a tailor and a cabinetmaker. Start treating cerebral palsy on time, but at least just not register as mentally retarded, you would have already graduated from the university."
"We are vacationing in Turkey and practicing in England"
“I try not to tell strangers that I work as the director of an orphanage - they still think that we eat children for breakfast,” Elena Pobeypech sighs. "Do you want to see what a normal orphanage looks like?"
Of course I want. I see it as a Soviet pioneer camp with chambers for a dozen iron beds. And the boys there must have a haircut for a typewriter. State institution, what to take from it. In some regions, such barracks still remain. But Stavropol can be considered exemplary - there is only one orphanage for 200 people. And in the majority of the rest - about 30. In the orphanage N9, Pobeipech now has 31 children. Nothing to do with the barracks.
For a group of five to seven people, it turns out something like an apartment: a boys 'bedroom, a girls' bedroom, a living room, a playroom, and its own bathroom. Home furniture. Everything is really very cozy.
The fact that it is good for children here can be seen right away - they are cheerful, liberated, do not shy away from adults. But, of course, this is not a family. No matter how hard the educators try, they are at work.
“The children will only become attached to the caregiver, and she once - and went on maternity leave, or even quit altogether. Yes, and we do not live with them - we leave for the night, for the weekend, - states Pobeipech. “That is why the state is now striving for the orphanage to be only a temporary shelter until the child is transferred to a foster family.”
The Stavropol Territory is surprisingly lucky. As once the first family orphanage in the country appeared here, and now in the village of Derbetovka, 160 km from Stavropol, a unique shelter has been operating since 2012 - like from the fairy tale "A Thousand and One Nights". I would not have seen it myself - I would not have believed that such a thing is possible at all.
A small palace behind a beautiful wrought-iron fence. Turrets, balcony, marble staircase. Reminds of a boutique hotel. On the threshold we are met by two hostesses - Roziyat and Patipat. And behind them children are dumping in a crowd.
There are 16 children in total, age - from six to 17 years. Boys and girls, dark and blonde. How lucky they are, I think they do not yet understand. On an area of 2 thousand sq. meters in gold and marble, a kitchen, a dining room, all sorts of workshops, a computer, concert and sports hall, a music studio, even something like a fireplace hall, and playrooms are equipped at the highest level. Children live in rooms by two. With a separate bathroom in each. Literally like a real boutique hotel. But the most important thing is that the “genie” who built all this fulfills wishes and even whims. The child wants to do wrestling, English, music - please. Coaches and tutors come directly to the palace. Or, for example, 17-year-old Marina got carried away with nail design, thought to make it her future profession. And on the table in the workshop is already a complete set of varnishes and tools.
"Where do you rest in the summer?" - I ask the children, expecting to hear something like neighboring Kislovodsk or Anapa.
“In Turkey,” the joyous chorus replies to me.
It immediately turns out that some of the English learners went to practice in the UK during the holidays.
So who pays for all this? The house was built and is fully supported by the Moscow businessman-patron Omar Murtuzaliev. Both he and his wife Uma are natives of Derbetovka. What we see here is a professional foster family. And formally, there are two families, each with eight children. Patipat and Roziyat have already raised their own children. And they are happy to work as foster parents. The state provides them with all the required remuneration and benefits. And the difference in costs is covered by the Murtuzalievs. Just do not think that this fairy tale was created for some "friends" - here are children of different nationalities. They were just lucky. Handsomely? Undoubtedly. But there is a nuance.
Patipat and Roziyat love children, hang on them, hug them. But they don't call them moms: "Aunt Pasha" and "Aunt Rosa". Even those who have never seen their biological mother.
This means that no matter how good it is here, no matter how good "gins" try to create comfort, in a professional foster family, as well as in the best orphanage, real family relations do not develop.
But those who take foster children are not always guided by good intentions.
“Citizens come and want to take a child, or even better, three. They say that they love children, but they are primarily interested in rewards, benefits, - says Tatyana Loenko, curator of foster families in Apanasenkovsky district of Stavropol Territory. - And there is someone who comes and says honestly: “There is no work. But there is potential - I can give warmth to children”.
That is, again, in some cases it is just a form of pedagogical work. The only question is how responsibly and with soul they approach her.There are stories when adopted children are considered simply as a kind of production asset, such as a machine or a cow.
In the Stavropol Territory, one who has adopted eight healthy children in a family receives a monthly remuneration of 40 thousand 420 rubles, if the disabled - 89 thousand 870 rubles. Plus, the allowance for the maintenance of children: 69 thousand 216 rubles. If necessary, you can also spend personal money of pupils - alimony credited to their accounts, social pensions.
“It used to be that they openly said that they wanted to take the disabled - they pay more for them,” employees of the Stavropol Ministry of Education recall.
But that's not all. With a properly built strategy, you can establish a good financial support from sponsors. Even if it is just clothes, toys, it is already saving state funds.
“Korganova had many sponsors. If Mileri gets the building, revives the brand of the House of Korganovs, then he will also be able to make good money, - his opponents hint to me. - That is why he does not want to create a foster family anywhere else. Children by themselves are of little interest to him."
"Misha goes first!"
And yet the foster family of the Korganovs became a real family for her pupils. Mutual grievances, accusations of parents - that they did not do something, loved someone more, gave more - all this is in ordinary families. And native mothers often make mistakes, they do not always decide on operations for their children, when there is a risk of making it even worse.
“My mother paid the most attention to Misha Androsov,” - in the voice of Mileri, who is already a grandfather himself, there is a direct childish resentment. - Let's go swimming in our pool: "So, Misha goes first!"
Even those of the former pupils who began the story about the House of Korganovs with the words "hell, horror, broken psyche" softened towards the end of the memories, noting that there were many good things.
“I didn't have a happy childhood in the Korganovs' house,” says one of the pupils, who wished to remain anonymous. - But nobody needed us anyway. The orphanage is still psychologically worse there. They don't live with you there, they work with you. Night nannies are on duty."
“And the child needs someone to whom he could come, when it’s bad, to snuggle. Was Korganova such a person for me? Yes, it was. Even though she once banged my head against the wall,”the source says.
“I remember how I was sent to a boarding school for the mentally retarded. I called my mom and cried. She took pity on me and returned me. Then, when I was already grown up, she registered me in this house - she said that maybe I would need it. Yes, I still have a permanent registration in my passport: 180 Oktyabrskaya,”he added.
Give to children
As the mass transfer of children from orphanages to foster families became apparent, a range of problems became apparent. This is the transformation of a good deed into a soulless business, and the inability to deal with disabled children, and healthy children, if there are many of them. It is already planned to reduce the maximum number of foster children from eight to four. But will this lead to any fundamental changes?
Both the former orphanages themselves and their educators say that if a person really fell in love with a child, wants to become his parent, then he needs to be adopted. The procedure is complicated, sometimes it is actually easier to formalize a “foster family”. But in fact - to adopt. Then you get a real family.
By the way, Elena Pobeipech adopted one of her pupils. And the state needs to popularize not professional foster families, where children are, as it were, overexposed until the age of 18, but adoption. But while society is not ready for this, the path will be at least this way - it's still better than a state-owned orphanage.
And now let's return to the house of the Korganovs and Mileri, who wants to continue the work of their mother. In the 1990s, he served in the police patrol service, now he works as a security guard. But he sees his calling in something else.
“Since the age of 13, I have been living my mother’s business. Adults received a special education - graduated from a social university. I love tinkering, building. We dug that pool in the yard together with the children.Then I tiled it. And now I and the boys would build a stove in the yard, they would cook. We went fishing. I would have taught them everything … And about the beatings. Well, maybe he gave fraternal cuffs. But on the other hand, no one smoked or drank in our country. All came out as decent people. And why do you think that I will do everything like my mother? Maybe I'll do it differently,”says Mileri. - I am ready to create a foster family only in this house. And nowhere else. Because this house, built by my mother, is dear to me. And even if a foster family is created in it without my participation, I will still come and take part like a good neighbor."
Whether he can be trusted with the children, what kind of foster father he will be - we do not know. Yes, he himself, probably, does not know either. But it is obvious that the house needs to be repaired and returned to the children. If only because it was built for them. And let someone find a family in him, albeit an adopted one. Whether Mileri will be her father or just a good neighbor is another question.