Youth Center

Philanthropy in Far East Russia

April, 2013
Welcome to the pages of the first newsletter of our Youth Center, a special project of «Helping Hands» partnership. In this issue we present for your kind attention our newsletter with all information about the center’s activities in March and April of 2013.

Official ceremony of the opening of our new project Youth Center took place on April 15, 2013. About thirty of our partners and sponsors came to the event. Each guest had a nice opportunity to have a look at all studios and enjoy the design and the whole atmosphere of the place. The symbolic red ribbon was officially cut by Honorary President of «helping Hands» Denis V. Sarana, honorary member of our partnership Larisa D. Belobrova and our partner Matvey N. Zaporozhsky.

See photos from the Official ceremony of the opening of Youth Center

Matvey N. Zaporozhsky has donated the use of the third floor of his building to be used for this purpose. Many of our partners and individual sponsors helped with the construction materials, equipment, design and decoration of the center. We have placed a board of gratitude in the center to mention all our sponsors.

In his opening speech Francis Landivar told the guests about the purpose of the center and stressed the importance of paying attention to the troubles which teenagers are facing nowadays and the necessity to help them solve their problems.

 «Save the youth!»  is a completely new project.  In our city we have a lot of young people who have much potential if only given a chance! The project is aimed to help teenagers who have talent and potential but live in one parent home or low income families.

Francis Landivar, director of “Helping Hands” personally visits schools to meet with teenagers and encourage them to participate in the project, then he holds individual interviews to prove that the children are suitable for the project. Currently about 100 children are enrolled in our youth center which opened doors in March. We intend to accept 20 more kids to have complete groups in all four studios. We have four studios where children are busy learning English, dancing, painting and learning computer skills.

The center is a meeting place for teenagers from 11 to 16 years old and is like a social and cultural club - they are a part of it and they have a sense of belonging as well as they get free education in important subjects which will be useful in the future. 

The main goal of the center is to make teenagers busy in their free time and to educate them in the most essential fields and to grow them into successful people. For example, in March in our computer studio children learnt about the Photoshop program and tried their hand in graphics, color mixing, changing the shapes of objects, geometric changes, color correction of texts. The teachers plan to introduce special projects which could help reveal individual talents of each kid and give them opportunity to show which skills they have acquired in the studio.

English lessons are also attention-grabbing and attract many teenagers. Our teachers speak English during the whole lesson, for many children it is unusual but they all admit that it is very useful. In March children not only learnt new words and grammar rules but also participated in discussions, talked about Russian traditions, sang songs in English. The class lasts one hour and a half but the teenagers often stay after the class to talk with the teacher and ask questions.

Gasanova Leila (the first girl on the left in the photo) told that “in school we have very boring English lessons and teachers almost never speak English with us. Here in the center I have an opportunity to learn the language, to speak it and it is like a dream coming true! I also like to talk with Francis, he is so open and it is very easy to discuss anything with him I would also like to be engaged in the studio of singing or modelling art for girls. It would be nice to have master classes on photography and the art of make-up.”

Besides studios which our teenagers attend after school, we also organize Saturday meetings where Francis Landivar and our volunteers talk with the teenagers about most important things, sing songs, play games and have fun. It often happens that young people desperately lack this opportunity to communicate with grown-ups who can share experience, give good advice, support and listen with attention. In our center we have a life coach who helps children solve their personal problems and gives advice how to behave in a difficult or conflict situation. 

Our art studio attracts children who have a potential in drawing, on the board in this studio we put many of their drawings. In March children learnt how to position the drawing on a sheet of paper, proportions, how to work with different paints, how to use pencil in sketches, how to work with shades – it is impossible to mention all skills which are taught in our art studio. During a special lesson of applied art of decoration children learnt how to cut elaborate decorative ornaments from paper. Our art studio is indeed the most beautiful and colorful in the center!

Nastya Bindasova (in the second photo), a 9-year old participant of the art studio, shared her opinion about the studio and the center: “I greatly enjoy drawing and I come to the center immediately after school. Here it is very cozy. It would be nice if there was a playing room where we could rest and play when we have free time. Art lessons are very interesting and I would also like to learn how to make decorations from beans! I like Saturday meetings with Francis – he is so kind and friendly and funny! My sister also comes here, she attends English and dances.”

Dancing studio is definitely the most energetic and positive. Teenagers learn different styles – R&B, Jazz Modern, Dupstep, Hip-Hop, Drum&Bass, and besides, they are taught various acrobatic elements and how to use them in a dance. Many children admit physical exercise in our dance studio is equal or even better than working out in a gym! Once a week they have drama lessons where they practice the art of smart speech, communication and behavioral patterns.

We also plan to hold seminars for children and invite professional volunteers who can share their knowledge and experience in the fields of marketing, management and business. Such knowledge will help young people think about and choose their future profession and make a successful career.

Francis Landivar also told that the center will also work as a meeting point for our program for orphans that graduate from orphanages and go into independent living. The success percent of young adults that leave the orphanage to join the real world is very low and discouraging. There is a great need for a program of “adaptation” to real life to help these young people so that they may have a better chance to succeed in the independent lives. We will be able to provide help in the following areas: getting higher or technical education, job opportunities and employment, legal rights, housing, revealing talents in sports and the arts, creating a support group for moral and psychological problems of adaptation, part time jobs, training in how to budget and run finances.

Our partnership “Helping Hands” wholeheartedly invites all our friends, partners and sponsors as well as independent individuals to participate in this new project. How can you help?  - You can become a partner providing services or goods or donating finances to help us maintain the center. We invite you to become a part of this socially vital project, visit the center and our events and share with us the joy of its development!

The center is located at Svetlanskaya St. 147 B

Tel. administrator Alexandra  2-218-147

Contact us to get more information: office tel. 2-407-126, e-mail а

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