Russian House

New Delhi, 18th November 2023 – The Russian volunteer mission “Dobro” (Goodness), a collaborative effort by Rossotrudnichestvo and the Russian State University for the Humanities, recently concluded its activities in New Delhi. The mission aimed to provide socialization and correction for children aged 3 to 13 from the Mala Smriti orphanage, situated in challenging conditions in Indian slums. The Indian Association of Russian Compatriots (IARC) along with the Russian House assisted them in conducting the mission in this country.

Working in conjunction with the Indian Association of Russian Compatriots and the Russian House in New Delhi, the mission successfully executed a multifaceted plan to uplift the lives of children in need. The volunteers, consisting of three teachers and seven students from the Russian State Humanitarian University (RGGU), engaged the children in various activities to enhance their emotional and cognitive development. Traditional Russian techniques, such as creating kokoshniks, and painting plates with Gzhel, Khokhloma, and Semyonovskaya matryoshka motifs, captured the children’s interest and creativity.

“We introduced children to the elements of traditional Russian costume. They made kokoshniks, made belts for boys, and painted plates using Gzhel motifs. Master classes were held on correcting the emotional sphere of children from the orphanage,” said Evgenia Kriger, Head of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy of Education at the Russian State University for the Humanities. “In general, we are very pleased with the work, we like the way we are greeted. We gain quite a lot of experience working in another culture, understanding their reality,” she added.

‘’I am delighted to witness the transformative impact of the ‘Dobro’ mission in India. Through collaborative efforts, we are not only fostering cultural exchange but, more importantly, uplifting the lives of those in need. The power of international cooperation and volunteerism knows no bounds, and IARC remains committed to strengthening the ties that bind our nations in shared compassion and understanding.” – said, Elena Barman, President, Indian Association of Russian Compatriots(IARC)

Special attention was given to interactive games, round dances, and “Rucheyok” (Streamlet) to promote emotional well-being. The children were encouraged to express themselves through drawing, crafting appliqués, and working with natural materials, fostering a sense of individuality and imagination. In preparation for the festival of Diwali, the volunteers collaborated with the children to create festive decorations, posters, and illuminated spaces with balloons and candles.

Though it’s still early to quantify the mission’s impact, the teachers from the Russian State University for the Humanities noted positive changes in the children. Increased activity, a disappearance of melancholy in their eyes, and a newfound openness in communication were observed, indicating progress in the emotional and social spheres.

In addition to their work at the orphanage, the volunteers visited a local cow and dog shelter, making donations for its development. They actively participated in community initiatives, including the opening of a Russian books shelf at “The Reader’s Cafe,” and conducted cultural awareness classes for girls at Khrist Raja Secondary School.

The “Dobro” mission exemplifies the spirit of international cooperation and volunteerism, showcasing the positive impact that collaborative efforts can have on the lives of underprivileged children. The organizers express their gratitude to all partners for their support in making this mission a success.