Vol. 11
RCWS Scholarship Program Continues to Expand
In 2003, with the financial
support and advice of Mrs. Nika
Thayer, the Society launched a
scholarship program to help
orphans attain secondary education. We started small, initially
supporting just two students in
the Pskov region who demonstrated their dedication, purpose
and drive to graduate from college. By the beginning of the
2006-2007 academic year, the
Society will be supporting 14
2006 reunion of RCWS students in Pskov
orphans in the Pskov region
exams. This is particularly important since
alone. Since our scholarship model has proven
orphans usually receive a substandard educaviable and replicable, the Society began its suption and need academic support. Once they
port of three orphans from the Yaroslavl region
have gained acceptance to a college, the stulast year and will add three more this fall.
dents receive a $100 per month stipend to help
Through RCWS assistance, each scholarwith cost-of-living expenses and food. Without
ship recipient is given the chance to take
such financial supplements, orphans are usualpreparatory courses for college entrance
Petroushka Ball 2006 at the Waldorf=Astoria
On February 9, 2006, the 41st annual
Petroushka Ball was held for the first time at
the elegant grand ballroom of the WaldorfAstoria Hotel in New York City. Attended by
some 800 elegantly dressed dinner and dancing
guests, the Ball was a fitting finale for an especially productive year.
RCWS President Vladimir Fekula is
pleased to report that this year's Petroushka
Ball achieved its highest net profit ever - over
$128,000. The proceeds were allocated to help
disadvantaged children in Russia by supporting
orphanages, homeless shelters, rehabilitation
centers, hospitals, and the RCWS scholarship
program for orphanage graduates.
It was an extraordinary evening! Soprano
Anna Netrebko, a Mariinsky Theatre and
Metropolitan Opera star, made her third
appearance. This year, Anna performed with
the exciting Rolando Villazón, a leading tenor
with the Metropolitan Opera House. They were
simply sensational. Each sang a solo followed
by two duets, concluding with a spellbinding
performance of "Libiamo, ne' lieti calici" from
Verdi's "La Traviata." These two world
acclaimed vocal artists are most sought after by
all of the leading opera houses. We are very
proud, and fortunate to have Anna as an
Honorary Director of the Russian Children's
Welfare Society.
Standing ovation for Anna Netrebko and
Rollando Villazón
The Petroushka Male Chorus, consisting
of volunteers drawn from the dinner guests and
conducted by Peter Fekula, sang a "Mnogaya
Leta" to wish Ms. Netrebko and Mr. Villazón
"many years."
The Lester Lanin Orchestra, under the
baton of Spencer Bruno, continued the
evening's musical program as guests flooded
the dance floor. Additional entertainment was
provided by Mikhail Smirnov and the Barynya
Balalaika Orchestra; "Tchaika", a Russian
cabaret group flown in from Paris for the occasion, and pianist Lazlo Fornwald.
Among the evening's special guests were
ABT ballerinas Irina Dvorovenko and Veronika
Part, as well as Miss Universe, Russian born
Fall 2006
ly forced to find other jobs to make ends meet,
usually leading to poor grades and the decision
to drop out.
Our guidance counselors under the leadership of Tatiana Bodrova, closely guard the children's progress in school, disburse funds on a
monthly basis, and help resolve any problems
that arise. RCWS requires academic transcripts from each of the students and reports on
the use of the stipend to assure accountability.
Our Yaroslavl scholarship program is similarly
run. RCWS Moscow office director Ludmila
Koroleva oversees and conducts site visits to
both programs.
Periodically we receive updates from the
students that affirm just how important the
scholarships are to their lives. Victor Sadkevich,
a student at the Opochka Pedagogical Institute,
who is earning very solid grades, recently
wrote us a note:
"From the very beginning, studying in college hasn't been easy, especially since I didn't
Natalia Glebova, who
represents Canada.
Diplomats including
Ambassador Andrei
Denisov and General
Consul Vitaly
Garmonin, business
executives and
celebrities were also
in attendance.
RCWS owes a
special thanks to Mr.
Irina Dvorovenko,
Michael Jordan of Principal Dancer at ABT
Aton Securities for
providing wine for the event and to Mr. Art
Saguirian, President of BMC Imports Ltd., for
a generous donation of "Jewel of Russia" UltraPremium Vodka. We are likewise grateful to
Mr. Peter Tcherepnine for underwriting the cost
of the spectacular flower arrangements, created
by Inna Nagibina, owner of the The Soft
All dinner guests received gift bags filled
with beautiful fragrances, generously donated
by the Estée Lauder Companies, Inc; an elegant
bone china cup and a saucer from the Imperial
Porcelain Manufactory (LFZ) in St. Petersburg,
Russia; CD and DVD sampler "Violetta" with
arias and duets of Anna Netrebko and Rolando
Villazón from Verdi's La Traviata, donated by
Universal Classics; gift certificates to the
Page 2
Vol. 11
HIV Hospital Combats Myths of Disease
There are approximately 16,000 children
living with HIV in Russia today. For many of
them, the diagnosis is the least of their worries.
Approximately 5,000 of them have been abandoned by their parents and are treated as outcastes in a society that stigmatizes people with
HIV. Schools, and even orphanages, refuse to
accept HIV-infected children, and the number
of those willing to adopt them is negligible.
Misinformation about transmission of the disease abounds, fostering unnecessary fears even
among health professionals.
Many children end up living in the hospital they were born in for years, isolated, growing depressed and unable to look forward to a
regular education. Science has advanced greatly in treating the disease, developing anti-retroviral therapies
require pill
ingestion as
little as twice
HIV patients
of all ages
are now living normal
Dr. Evgeny Voronin
lives. Societal prejudices, however, remain
firmly entrenched, and children who were born
with HIV enjoy no extra sympathy.
On a brighter note, children with HIV have
found a great friend and advocate in Dr. Evgeny
Voronin, Director of the Pediatric AIDS Center
in Ust-Izhora, just outside of St. Petersburg.
The hospital specializes in HIV prevention and
the diagnosis and treatment of pregnant women
and children. There are currently 40 children
from one to six years of age living at the Center.
Dr. Voronin established his "Future Without
AIDS" program in 1998 primarily to prepare
and educate these HIV infected youngsters to
adapt to the outside world.
These special patients need professional
teachers and caretakers who are highly qualified in their fields, sensitive to people with HIV,
and have the motivation to create a psychologically
Unfortunately, woefully inadequate government funding made it nearly impossible to find
the right personnel for the project. RCWS
stepped up and approved an initial $10,000
grant so that Dr. Voronin can offer competitive
salaries to prospective teachers and surround
the children with quality staff. He is also planning to hire a psychologist, psychotherapist,
2nd Training Symposium on Cleft Lip and Palate in Moscow
Of the close to 30,000 children in Russia
born each year with facial deformities, approximately 30-40% are cleft lip and palate cases.
Unfortunately, over half of Russia's 89 regions
do not have medical facilities capable of assisting such patients, and many corrective surgeries are performed by general surgeons who do
not have the necessary experience and training
to provide proper treatment. Most families in
Russia simply cannot afford to bring their children to Moscow for the best treatment available
in the country.
The Moscow Medical Stomatological
University (MMSU), Russia's leading center
for surgical treatment of pediatric facial deformities, is also a teaching hospital and trains surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthodontists, speech
therapists, nurses and other medical professionals from all over Russia. In order to raise standards of cleft care outside of the capital,
MMSU hosted its 1st Training Symposium in
December 2002.
The Smile Train, Russian Children's
Welfare Society and the Russian Ministry of
Health renewed its sponsorship for the 2nd
Cleft Care Symposium, held April 19-21st at
the House of Scientists in Moscow this past
spring. Over 450 medical professionals from
39 regions of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine,
Sweden, and Italy participated in the symposium. Among the participants were stomatological surgeons, pediatric surgeons specializ-
Prof. Svetlana Diakova with
her young patients
ing in facial deformities, orthodontists, speech
therapists, otolaryngologists, and psychologists.
Doctors benefited from a special presentation by Prof. Jan Lilja, Sahlgrenska University
Hospital of Sweden, whose expenses were
underwritten by The Smile Train. Each
attendee also received a 330 page reference
manual, entitled "New Methods of
Comprehensive Treatment and Rehabilitation
of Children with Cleft Lip and Palate," as well
as The Smile Train's "Virtual Surgery" CD's
and other materials. Additional manuals were
given to medical universities that train doctors
in cleft care.
Prof. Diakova, Head of the Department of
Pediatric Facial Surgeries at MMSU, reports
that these symposiums are having real results.
The planning committee designed a proposal to
improve cleft care in Russia based on discussions and presentations during the symposium,
Two brave friends combating the disease
neurologist and speech therapist to help the kids
deal with the sense of loss and deprivation they
have experienced in their young lives. We plan
to continue offering assistance to this important
First Lady Laura Bush visited the AIDS
Center in Ust-Izhora during the recent G-8 summit in St. Petersburg. She was seen dancing
with the children and holding their hands.
Hopefully, coverage of her visit will show ordinary Russians that such contact with HIV
infected people can indeed be safe. In the
meanwhile, Dr. Voronin will continue to try to
change societal attitudes toward HIV/AIDS and
run educational programs that dispel myths surrounding the disease.
RCWS Board member Raisa Scriabine has
also made several contributions to the Pediatric
AIDS Center.
which is to be reviewed by the Ministry of
Health. The media is also taking interest.
Journalists from the Russian TV program
"Business in Moscow" made a report on the
symposium that was aired on April 21st, 2006.
The 2nd symposium was, furthermore,
helpful in identifying potential future partner
hospitals for The Smile Train project. Anna
Sergeeva-Gross, Director of RCWS New York
Office, made a presentation on behalf of The
Smile Train and RCWS, describing our collaboration on cleft care in Russia and how other
hospitals could join the program.
A $10,000 RCWS grant helped defray
Symposium costs. We are very grateful to The
Smile Train for the $16,150 in additional support it provided for the event. We greatly
appreciate that once again the Department of
Mother and Child Health at the Russian
Ministry of Health covered the cost of transportation, per diem expenses, and accommodations for doctors arriving from outside of
Thanks also to the wonderful organizers of
the symposium, Prof. Svetlana V. Diakova, Dr.
Marina A. Pershina and Prof. Orest Z.
Topolnitsky, of the MMSU Department of
Pediatric Facial Surgeries, Prof. Vitaly V.
Roginsky, Head of the Moscow Center for
Children's Maxillofacial Surgery, and many
others whose hard work made it possible for
doctors from all over Russia to learn about the
latest diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitative
procedures for cleft lip and palate.
Fall 2006
"Going to Grandma's House"
Babushkas as Foster Mothers
Valentina Evseevna has been raising
her grandson Pasha, who is now 15, since he
was 10 months old. No one would dispute
that keeping Pasha with his loving grand
mother was preferable to placement in an
orphanage. However, at the age of 71 and living on a pension, this babushka is struggling
Seventy two-year-old Zinaida
Anatolievna has been raising her four grandchildren for the last four years in addition to
taking care of her 80 year old husband, who is
blind. Her oldest grandson is 23, works, and
does all he can to actively help his younger
brother Pavel, 18, and his sisters Nastya, 11,
and Mashenka, 6. Nevertheless, the psychological and economic burden puts a great deal
of stress on this caring grandmother.
Valentina Evseevna with her grandson
ect offering practical training to the guardians
and adoptive parents of at-risk children.
Emergency psychological assistance is also
available to guide families through crisis periods. Additionally, the Association runs a
"Family Club" so that guardians can socialize,
find mutual support and build friendships.
Zinaida Anatolievna and her granddaughter
RCWS learned of these cases from
Natasha Shaginian of Happy Families
International, who also serves on our Russia
Advisory Board. Since financial hardship is
the main reason many children end up in
orphanages to begin with, Ms. Shaginian suggested that RCWS provide direct financial
assistance to needy families so as to prevent
the needless creation of more orphans. As a
result, the Society began a program offering
material assistance to elder caregivers called
"Grandma's House." We have also sponsored
destitute single mothers who otherwise would
have been forced to give up their children.
The Association of Child Psychologists in
Moscow monitors recipients of RCWS aid,
with whom we worked following the Beslan
disaster in 2004. The Association runs a proj-
Detention Center for Teenagers in Mozhaisk
Western news outlets have reported widely on the abhorrent conditions within the
Russian prison system and the dangerously
high number of inmates suffering from tuberculosis. The release of prisoners who have the
potential to spread the disease to the general
population obviously presents a huge public
health risk. The Federal Prison for Teenagers in
Mozhaisk, located 150 miles outside of
Moscow, struggles with this very problem.
The prison currently houses approximately 400 teenage inmates, 40% of whom are
Page 3
orphans. Many of these children have committed what would be considered minor crimes,
but the Russian legal system has yet to work
out alternative punishments for minors. The
Society's work in orphanages has been aimed in
part at preventing children from ending up in
prison, but many still end up making poor
choices and get involved in drugs and crime.
The very humane administrators at the
Mozhaisk Prison are doing the best they can to
rehabilitate the youngsters, offer vocational
training for when they get out, and protect their
already weak health from infection
with tuberculosis. Mortality from this
disease is a staggering 50 times greater
within prisons than in the population as
a whole. The Society began a relationship with the prison by allocating
$9,000 for the purchase of an X-Ray
machine and the renovation of a diagnostic office so that tuberculosis can be
detected and treated in a timely fashion.
The Society visited the prison as part
of its Christmas program in 2005.
RCWS Moscow Office Director
RCWS brings Christmas cheers to teenage
Ludmilla Koroleva delivered donations
inmates in Mozhaisk
An aid recipient
of RCWS Granny project
NY Office Director Anna SergeevaGross met with several of the grandmothers
and their families supported by RCWS during
an onsite visit this past April. Tearfully, they
all expressed their deepest gratitude for being
able to keep their families intact and help the
children flourish. For a relatively small cost
we are sparing children the horror of separation from their loved ones. RCWS encourages
friends to "Adopt a Granny" to help us expand
this very worthwhile and promising program.
of candies and vitamins for the children. The
inmates gave a concert for the visitors, but at
first seemed extremely dejected. Our visit did
improve their spirits considerably as we were
the first organization to show that there are
people who care about them. With your help,
the RCWS hopes to develop programs that will
offer positive inspiration to this very neglected
segment of Russian youth, many of whom do
not belong in such an environment.
Page 4
Assisting Children with Hemophilia in St. Petersburg
RCWS Honorary Board member, Suzanne
Massie is best known for her highly respected
work on Russian History, The Land of the
Firebird. She should also be known for her
crusade on behalf of homebound Russian children afflicted with hemophilia and other diseases and disabilities. Even before the fall of
the Iron Curtain, Ms. Massie was demanding
information from Soviet authorities on the
whereabouts of disabled children, who remain
hidden from society even today.
Ms. Massie's focus on the plight of hemophiliacs in Russia stemmed from her own
experience with her son. With the availability
of blood transfusions and the eventual development of techniques to inject coagulant factors, her son was able to manage the disease
and go on to earn degrees from three different
Ivy League schools. In contrast, Russian children suffering from the same disease have
been traditionally categorized as invalids. The
perils of the disease keep children from
attending a regular school in Russia, perpetuating a feeling of isolation and hindering the
development of bright young minds.
In 1990, during the era of "openness," Ms.
Massie took a small but critical step toward
changing attitudes toward the disabled in the
Soviet Union.
She launched a
swimming program for young
hemophiliacs in
St. Petersburg.
The most typical of childhood
activities, exercise and play
time with
friends, was
Suzanne Massie
now afforded
these struggling youngsters. By 1992, the
Firebird Foundation was formed to fulfill Ms.
Massie's vision of using computer technology
to improve the sporadic and inadequate home
schooling of homebound children. In its initial incarnation, the "Information Window on
the World" project taught children the basics
of information technology and foreign languages, and also organized field trips in and
around St. Petersburg.
By 1999, more and more families had
computers, allowing the Firebird Foundation
to set up on-line distance learning courses for
homebound children. This "Supplementary
Education" project not only helps them learn
St. Nicholas School for Needy Children in Kislovodsk
The St. Nicholas School in
Kislovodsk is gearing up for its 15th anniversary in 2007. Since its founding, the school, a
non-governmental institution, has faced an
uphill battle to secure sufficient funding to
create a safe and sound environment where
youngsters can undertake a rigorous classical
curriculum. Ongoing political conflict in the
Caucasus region has also had an inevitable
impact on the St. Nicholas community.
Since 1999, the Society has assisted
the school (built in 1898) with capital repairs,
such as window installation, new plumbing
and heating systems, and a new roof. The
school's administration points out that RCWS
support has allowed them to accommodate all
210 students, extending from grades one to
eleven, in one session. Further RCWS assistance helps underwrite food, medicine, sporting
equipment and
financial help for
needy students.
The Society and
its supporters
have thereby
helped to provide
a secure structure
Future artist creating for learning and
have contributed
early master piece
to the
health and
well being
of the students.
This has
enabled the
teachers at
the St.
School to
build a
First day of school
government- accredited program that trains the
students in languages ancient and modern
(Greek, Latin, Old Church Slavonic, and
English), Orthodox traditions, information
technology, and the gamut of other
required courses. Owing to the unique
and strong academic offerings of the
School, St. Nicholas graduates have successfully attained admission to prestigious
post secondary programs in the humanities as well as technical schools.
A special thanks goes out to Mr.
and Mrs. Serge Timasheff for their ongoing friendship to the Society and the St.
Nicholas School!
Vol. 11
the regular school subjects, but also helps
them gain facility with computers, thereby
enhancing job prospects. Through this very
practical program, many hemophiliacs have
gone on to gain entry in institutes and technical colleges.
Anatoly Makeevich describes Suzanne
Massie as his "second mother." In 1993, she
arranged medical care for 12-year-old Tolya in
the United States, the first Russian hemophiliac to be treated here. Anatoly is now a professional computer designer and medical student
and a contributing member of Russian society.
Clearly, the work of the Firebird Foundation
has a definitive impact on children.
Ms. Massie's current focus is on identifying all children in St. Petersburg with disabilities that prevent regular school attendance,
and equipping their homes with computers to
facilitate virtual learning. RCWS has supported the Firebird Foundation's forward-thinking
and innovative initiative with an initial
$10,000 grant.
Suzanne Massie is a firebrand, overturning archaic attitudes toward disability and disease in Russia, and harnessing the possibilities
of modern technology to do so. She has also
expressed her interest in replicating this computer project in orphanages. We hope her
model achieves success throughout Russia.
"Big Change" Center
for Social Transition
Orphans in Russia usually follow
one of three educational tracks. Those
deemed intellectually capable and fully socialized will live at an orphanage, but attend a
regular school. Others with learning disabilities will be taught at a school, or internat, on
the premises of the orphanage. The third category is for children with psycho-neurological
issues, considered "unteachable" and who
basically learn to read and count. Not surprisingly, orphans are, on average, 6-7 years
behind their peers in educational level when
they finish school.
Given this fact, how are orphans
expected to survive once they graduate?
While the government provides orphans with
open entry into an institution of higher learning, they often drop out after the first semester, not understanding the work ethic involved
in getting accepted to college, lacking in basic
knowledge and not knowing how to study.
Without life skills and academic or professional training, many fall in with tricksters and
criminals, and end up as prostitutes or drug
abusers living on the streets.
Irina Ryazanova, Director of the
"Bolshaya Peremena" ("Big Change") educational center in Moscow, understands that supplemental education is what orphans need to
Fall 2006
RCWS "Yelka" Party in Moscow Largest Ever
Close to 1,800 children participated
in Christmas and New Year's celebrations this
past winter thanks to RCWS sponsorship and
organization! Our main event, the annual
"Yelka", took place at the Children's Palace in
Moscow. The 1,000 orphans in attendance
received gifts and a hot lunch, and enjoyed an
afternoon of entertainment. Yuri Medvedev, a
clown with Cirque du Soleil, was on hand to
greet and amuse the youngsters. World champion figure skater Maria Butyrskaya also
added warmth to the atmosphere. Russian television station Vesti Moskva covered the Yelka
on its daily broadcast.
Some of the participants traveled
quite a distance to enjoy the holiday in the
capital, coming from orphanages in Tula,
Pskov, Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga, and the
Moscow environs. One young girl from
Pskov wrote us this heartwarming thank you
"The streets of Moscow were decorated with trees and garlands. Everything
glittered and sparkled. It felt like the city was
just waiting for the holiday. Warmth and comfort awaited us at the Children's Palace.
was beautiful:
a big pool with
fish and exotic
plants. But
the most
thing - they
were happy for
us and were
waiting for
His first Christmas party From another
"I would like
to thank the
Welfare Society
for the trip to
Moscow. I
liked it very
much. I especially enjoyed
the girl gymnast who was
swirling 16
hula-hoops at
Ded Moroz greeting
one time! For
young participants
the first time, I
at the Children’s Palace
saw the
Moscow subway and rode the train and escalator. We also went to a museum and to a
church and lit candles. We looked at icons
with angels on them. Then we watched the
"changing of the guard" ceremony at the
Eternal Flame on Red Square. After that we
took a trolleybus and enjoyed Moscow through
the windows. Again, thank you very much for
this trip!"
We would like to thank the Zodiak
Company for donating 600 boxes of sweet
treats for the party and to Lidia Ivanova of the
Preodolenie-L rehabilitation Center for help in
transporting them. We are also grateful to the
Severnaya Korona Foundation and the
Primakov Foundation for helping transport
orphans from the more distant locales to
In addition to the Yelka at the
Children's Palace, RCWS visited children's
RCWS Donates New Laser Endoscopic Equipment to
Moscow Children's Hospital of Emergency Surgery and Trauma
Children have been particularly hard
hit by the crisis in the Russian healthcare system. No one knows this better than Dr.
Leonid Roshal, Director of the Moscow
Children's Research Institute of Emergency
Surgery and Trauma. According to Dr.
Roshal, poor food, the polluted environment,
the lack of public health programs and a broken down healthcare system have led to a
child mortality rate that is twice the European
average. The severe lack of pediatricians
leads to the doubling of each doctor's caseload, and approximately 70% of the medical
equipment in hospitals is outdated or broken
In December 2005, RCWS provided
the Moscow Children's Research Institute with
a $16,000 grant for the purchase of minimally
invasive endoscopic surgical equipment to
treat trauma to the joints. This highly sophis-
ticated tool will prevent children from needlessly becoming invalids, which was the typical result of operations using traditional methods. Recovery time from sustained injuries
will also be 2-3 times faster.
An untold number of children will
be helped through this donation. The facility
treats 25% of all immediate children's trauma
On behalf of RCWS, Ludmilla Koroleva
presents new equipment to
Dr. Leonid Roshal
Page 5
hospital wards with clowns from the
"Chudaki" theatre group, who distributed toys
and funny balloons to the little patients. With
the collaboration of Sapar Kulianov of the
"Shelter for Childhood," the Society also visited a prison for juvenile inmates in Mozhaisk.
Thank you to Peter Korovin and Maria
Kulianova for reprising their roles as Ded
Moroz and Snegurochka! In addition to
sweets, the
passed along
a donation
of vitamins
courtesy of
Peletsky of
the Ecomir
Participants from Pskov
at Red Square
from friends to the Society extended further
holiday cheer to needy children. RCWS
Russia Advisory Board member Natasha
Shaginian donated tickets to 100 orphans and
disabled children in Moscow for the Yelka
hosted by the President's Administration. She
also donated 50 tickets to the New Year's Party
at the Gelikon Opera for children from
Novomoskovsk. Irina Kudrina, President of
Severnaya Korona Foundation and a member
of RCWS Russia Advisory Board donated 25
tickets to the show "Peter Pan on Ice," benefiting disabled orphans from Krasnaya Dubrava.
Our Yelka party means a lot to children in need during the holidays. What began
as a modest venture less than 10 years ago has
become one of Russia's most important
orphan children's holiday events.
and pathology cases in Moscow. Annually, the
Institute cares for 8,000 children at the hospital and up to 50,000 more at its outpatient
trauma unit. The hospital staff is now using
the endoscope in almost all of its surgeries.
RCWS is very proud of its association
with Dr. Roshal and the highly dedicated team
of doctors at the Children's Institute. Dr.
Roshal is a very distinguished and wellrespected person in Russia, known as the
"Children's Doctor of the World." He headed
up the emergency medical effort after terrorists besieged a school in Beslan in September
2004. To his credit, he has also authored or
co-authored 6 books and over 150 scientific
publications, and is a consummate professional and humanitarian.
While hospitals in Russia are still in
great need of modernization, we believe that
RCWS support of this medical project will be
a significant factor in saving the lives of many
Page 6
Vol. 11
RCWS Scholarship Program Continues to Expand
know any of the teachers. The demands on us
are much tougher than in school…I want to
thank the Russian Children's Welfare Society.
The material assistance I receive every month
is helping me realize my lifelong dream."
Elena Andreeva, one of our first two
scholarship recipients, is also doing well,
receiving 4's and 5's (the top two ratings in the
Russian scale) at the Idritsa Agricultural
College. She recently told us that she will try
to further her education in St. Petersburg or
Velikiye Luky after finishing her course of
study in June 2007.
While the Society maintains close contact
with the scholarship recipients, we believe it is
also very important that they keep in touch with
each other. This summer, we sponsored our
second annual gathering of students in Pskov.
The day began with an interview with a
reporter from "Pskovskaya Pravda," which has
been closely covering the progress of the Pskov
orphanages. Next on the agenda was lunch at a
cafe, followed by a boat tour on the Velikaya
River. The group was very enthusiastic about
the chance to share their experiences with some
of their old friends and ten of our scholarship
awardees were in attendance.
Rubatskaya, whose scholarship at the Pskov
College of Economics and Civil Construction
is underwritten by Peter Semler, wrote about
the reunion:
"The time flew by quickly and it was
almost the end of our tour. We were a little sad
to say good-bye to each other - some had to
rush to catch their train or bus. Tatiana
Bodrova from the Pskov Children's Fund
wished us a good summer and we parted. It
was a wonderful day. We had a lot of fun! I
would like to thank you for arranging such
meetings. We need them!"
Marina, Valentina and Andrey RCWS scholarship recipients in Yaroslavl
A Letter from Elena Andreeva, RCWS Scholarship Recipient
Dear American
I am a student at the Idritsa
Agricultural College
and my name is
Elena Andreeva. I
would first like to
Elena Andreeva,
thank the Russian
starting 4th year
Children's Welfare
in college
Society and its supporters for the financial support I have been
given. It has played a large role in my life
and in my studies.
In 2006 there have been many
changes and new experiences in my life, both
good and bad. Thanks to RCWS though, there
have been more good things that have happened to me.
With RCWS help and support I was
able to accommodate my dorm room with
many necessary items. I could, for example,
purchase a couch, rug, comforter, tablecloth,
washing machine, kettle, vacuum cleaner and
many other items. I am able to buy those
shoes and clothes, which I like. Your financial
support has also helped me enormously in my
studies. Academics are my first priority, and
thanks to you I do not have to worry about
other problems, which may arise unexpectedly.
For example, when my father died I had no
money to pay for his funeral, but through
your help I was able to give him a respectful
burial. I would like to thank RCWS contributors even before we meet face to face for this
act of kindness and to say how much it means
to me.
I learned a great deal this academic
year about the Veterinary field. I studied various subjects including epizoology, internal
noninfectious diseases, toxicology, artificial
insemination of farm animals, fish and bee
diseases, midwifery, surgery and many other
This year (my fourth) I am already
licensed to work as an operating surgeon for
artificial insemination. I received nearly the
highest marks for my summer classes. There
were four exams: Internal noninfectious diseases, artificial insemination, midwifery, and
surgery. I received the highest marks on these
I also experienced change on an
artistic level. I started singing in an ensemble. We have already performed a concert at
our collge in the festivals, "Last Day of
Classes," "Vacation," and we also traveled to
the city Cibezh, where they were having their
own town celebrations. We performed on a
large stage in front of a big audience. Our
efforts were not in vain; many audience members and people from Cibezh enjoyed our concert greatly.
Recipient, Andrei Loginov gives an interview
to a local reporter on
RCWS Scholarship Project
Events like this make the orphans feel special. They have no homes to go to during vacation and holidays. And the scholarship program
is giving these young Russians a real chance to
construct decent lives for themselves. Only 4%
of orphanage graduates are admitted to vocational schools or colleges, while the rest end up
in the claws of poverty or crime. The RCWS
Scholarship Program shows that we can make a
substantial difference in the lives of a few. The
Society will keep its supporters informed of the
project's expansion into Yaroslavl, and hopefully to other areas of Russia. We encourage our
friends to support this important project!
There are many new students in the
school who have turned out to be kind people.
I am able to speak candidly with some of them
about the intimate details of my life. We go on
walks together, and in our free time we go hiking, think up different games to play, sing
songs while playing the guitar, take pictures,
and go swimming. It has been a very happy
time in my life.
There is one year of school left until
graduation, which I have awaited anxiously
for these past three years. Time has flown by
unnoticed of course; we have all grown up
and entered adulthood. Many of my classmates plan on settling down with a family
after graduation. I want to go on for a higher
degree. I would like to be accepted to the
Lenningradskii Institute, but in the event that I
do not make it in because of how competitive
it is, I plan on attending the Vilikoleskaya
Agricultural Academy. It is slightly easier to
enroll there and I am hoping on my strength to
pull me through. I think I will be accepted.
Well I will most likely end my letter
here. I would like to thank RCWS again for
the foundation's continual support and for its
presence in my life.
I thank you and all those who support RCWS from the bottom of my heart, and I
wish you all good health, and success in
everything! It seems that people like you are
few and far between in the world…
Good Bye!
With My Greatest Respect,
Elena Andreeva
Fall 2006
The "Maria's Children" Rehabilitation Center
"Maria's Children," an art rehabilitation center for orphaned children, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary at the American
Grill Bar in Moscow. Over 100 children
attended the party and enjoyed performances
by professional clowns, musicians and singers.
Most of them will tell you, without too much
prompting, just how important Maria and her
art therapy programs have been to them.
The casual visits of Maria Yeliseeva
to Moscow orphanages very quickly blossomed into the establishment of a haven for
young children longing to express themselves.
By drawing murals and working on other art
projects in such friendly company, the orphans
start to come out of their shells and learn positive interaction skills.
During 10th Anniversary Celebration
of Maria’s Center
Pasha Avdoshin,
one of the former
students, told us of
Maria's deep commitment to the well
being of program
"Maria selected
one child per week
from our group to
Maria Yelisseeva, Founder come and spend the
and Director
weekend with her
of the Center
so that we could get
used to family life. Because in our school the
children either had no parents at all or their
parents abandoned them…"
Pasha also spoke of the loyalty that
Maria and her husband, Ilya, have generated in
the orphans:
"Maria did a whole lot for us, the
older kids, for me. I consider Maria and Ilya
my real parents. Now it is our turn to show
that we won't forget what they gave us - affection, care, the right direction in life - and we
will go down that right path. I'm grateful to
them for everything. And I'll help them however I can."
While Maria clearly has a touch
with children, the programs she runs are also
Orphanage in Novomoskovsk
A Special Home for Abandoned Children
RCWS regards its commitment to
orphanages as more than just offering food
and clothing. Our involvement aims to help
foster the multifaceted development of children into independent human beings. Mr.
Anatoly Ovchinnikov, director of the
Novomoskovsk Orphanage No. 2 in Tula,
shares this approach and has made his collaboration with the Society a fruitful one.
Since 1998, RCWS funds have
made possible the following enhancements to
the Novomoskovsk orphanage: a new
minibus, modern sporting equipment, a mini
computer lab, library equipment, audio/video
equipment, an industrial washing machine,
Future builder at the carpentry workshop
Learning IT skills at the new computer
facility, sponsored by RCWS
furniture, educational resources, and sponsoring field trips.
Mr. Ovchinnikov recently sent us a
very enthusiastic report on the positive effect
these various resources are having on the mental and physical growth of the orphans. Since
the vast majority of the children suffer from
poor health (Novomoskovsk was contaminated
by the Chernobyl disaster), the availability of
modern sporting equipment for physical education classes has been a critical boost to their
strength and health. Computer training classes are imparting an indispensable skill for a
working life. And the minibus has liberated
the youngsters from the confines of the
Page 7
substantive. As a
painter, Maria is able
to help students with
technique to produce
beautiful artwork that
has been exhibited
throughout Russia
and the United States.
Maria also established a collaboration
with the world
famous Patch Adams
Former student
clowns. Together,
Pasha Avdoshin
Maria's children and
the clowns visit hospitals and orphanages to
help spread cheer to the less fortunate.
RCWS is supporting Maria's latest
effort to help prepare orphans for life as independent adults with a $5,000 grant. The center will train 40 teenagers on legal issues, psychology, cooking and independent living over
10 sessions and help them anticipate the challenges of post-orphanage life. Further consultations will also be available after the trainings
have concluded.
The Society agrees wholeheartedly
with orphan Slava Kirillov, who wrote that if
he could change the world, he would want
more places like "Maria's Children," where a
child can get to know another world.
orphanage, enabling administrators to organize
trips to local places of interest.
In addition to all of the new activities that are helping the orphans build confidence as individuals, memorable trips to
Moscow and St. Petersburg seem to have left
the greatest impression of all. Mr.
Ovchinnikov conveyed the children's delight:
"It is impossible to measure the
emotions and the impressions the trips made
on the kids. But they certainly made each
child, though left at a disadvantage by fate, a
little bit happier - and this is precisely the goal
of our work with the Society. This is what is
The staff and children at the orphanage have asked us to pass on their warmest
greetings and thanks to their American friends
and supporters!
Thank you! “Spasibo!” to RCWS
and it’s supporters in America
Page 8
Petroushka Ball 2006 at the
"Okeanos" spa; a tin of tea "Rasputin" or
"Akbar/Earl Grey," donated by Gregory
Tolston, CFO NetCost Markets & Royal
Seafood Baza Inc; delicious chocolates from A.
Korkunov Chocolatier, Inc.; and a recent issue
of Opera News magazine.
A dazzling assortment of raffle prizes,
graciously assembled by Mrs. Beatrice Fekula,
was on display. The Grand Prize was a reproduction of the Fabergé "Rose Trellis Egg," presented to the Petroushka Ball by Mr. Michael
Ruddy, President of the Fabergé Collection,
The Essex Company Inc. The winners of the
raffle and silent auction took home other fabulous prizes, including a reproduction of
Fabergé's "The Fifteenth Anniversary Egg";
cufflinks by Alex Soldier; two tickets to the AllStar
Ballet at ABT; an
DVD; art work from
the series "Ballet"
Stravinsky by Valera
Cherkashin; a classic pearl collar and
earrings by Masha
Archer; a three
course dinner and
Natalia Glebova,
P e t r o s s i a n
Miss Universe
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jordan with
Anna Netrebko and Rollando Villazón
Restaurant; a bone china coffee set "Capital of
the North" by Imperial Manufactory of St.
Petersburg; a 16.5 oz jar of Creme De La Mer;
a replica Maybach DS8 Zeppelin by Maybach
USA; books "The Staging of the Nutcracker"
and "The Magic Nut" signed by Mikhail
Chemyakin; a $200 gift certificate at Galo
Shoes; Cascade of Citron Earrings by "Nisha";
dinner for two at the Bull & Bear Restaurant;
etchings by Ivan Valchev; a book "Reflections
of Time Past: Natalya Nesterova"; a bottle of
Georgian cogniac by Dozortsev & Sons; dinner
for two at the Russian Samovar Restaurant; a
trio of imported French wines; a book "Irina:
Ballet Life and Love" signed by the author and
RCWS Honorary Director - Irina Baronova; a
gift basket of Caswell-Massey skincare products; dinner for two at Uncle Vanya Restaurant;
a $200 gift certificate for flower arrangement
by Inna Nagibina; and many other beautiful
Special plaudits to Aton Securities,
Alexandra Investment Management, Air
France, Count and Countess Nicholas
Pskov Orphanages Progress Report
While there is still much work to be
done, sustained RCWS involvement in the
orphanages of the Pskov region is increasing
the standard of living of abandoned children.
Tatiana Bodrova, Director of the Pskov
Children's Fund, has been instrumental in this
success, identifying the best ways to advance
the aims of the Russian Children's Welfare
Society. Here is a brief update on the Pskov
The Opochka Specialized
Orphanage completed the construction of a
social rehabilitation complex where children
learn the basics of managing a household: setting a table, washing linens, cleaning, etc. The
orphanage also uses this space for holidays
and special occasions where students share the
food they have made.
The next order of business is to
establish a proper sports facility on the premises. Children are currently using dumbbells
made from cans weighed down by sand and
gravel. The Society allocated funds for sporting equipment that will make the kids stronger
and healthier.
The Krasnogorodsky Specialized
Orphanage recently received a Society grant
that will provide new equipment for the carpentry workshops. The current tools in use
are over 40 years old and desperately need to
be updated. Since carpentry is a profession in
high demand, a modernized workshop will
help the employment prospects of the 62 male
students at the orphanage. On a practical
note, the young carpenters in training can
apply their new skills to fixing up the orphanage itself.
Students of Opochka Specialized Orphanage
learning to manage a household
Vol. 11
Bobrinskoy, Katherine Brush, Dr. Donald
Bronn and Mrs. Marina Arsenijevic, The Estée
Lauder Companies Inc., FactSet Research
System, Ekaterina and Richard Fields, Stephen
and Susan Crane, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Collazo,
Mr. and Mrs. Vladimir Fekula, Mr. Alan Feuer,
Mikhail and Natalia Filimonov, Mr. and Mrs.
William Gallagher, Don Halldin and Anastassia
Dorohova, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jordan,
Vadim and Elena Iosilevich, Eric and Olga
Jorgensen, Tamara Kozlakowski, Dr. and Dr.
Chocolatier, Konrad Kruger, Kevin Hunt and
Elizabeth Lachmann, Elvina Levaya, Jacques
Leviant, Joe Mattia and Tanya Zakharova, Mrs.
Elena Mayakovskaya; Mr. John Medveckis,
Princess Lucretia Obolensky and Mr. Frederick
Mali, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McPartland, Nelly
and Imre Pakh, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Paul, Mr.
and Mrs. John Pouschine, Mr. Lewis Ranieri,
Mr. Daniel Satchkov, Mr. Paul Rodzianko and
Access Industries, Michael Ruddy and Fabergé
Collection, Bella Sapir, Mr. Dimitry
Schidlovsky, Mr. and Mrs. Constantine
Sidamon-Eristoff, Mrs. Nika Thayer, Ioulia
Sokolova, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Thompson,
Michael Tokarz, Mr. and Dr. Gregory Tolston,
Givi Topchishvili
Advertisement Strategies, Mr. Jeffrey
Vanderveen, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Wickham,
and Pavel Zadorozhny.
Next year's Petroushka Ball will continue its
long tradition as the most glamorous charity
event of the social season on Friday,
February 9, 2007 at the Waldorf=Astoria.
The Pytalovo Specialized
Orphanage is an institution for hearing
impaired orphans and children from impoverished families. RCWS is supporting the purchase of critical speech therapy equipment,
computers, microphones and headphones that
are necessary to help these children overcome
their disability. This technology will make
lessons much more effective and improve students' ability to understand and speak intelligibly.
The Opochka Pedagogical College
recently sought RCWS assistance for the first
time. The majority of the residents in the dormitory are orphans, who still endure horrific
living conditions even after moving on to secondary education. There is currently only one
stove for the 50 students and no hot water or
laundry facilities. With the Society's support,
the dorm will soon have new electrical appliances, shower equipment, washing-machine,
water heater, furniture and dishes. We hope
that, these changes will allow students to concentrate on their studies more.
For more information on our work
in the Pskov region, please see our article on
the RCWS scholarship program.
Fall 2006
Page 9
New Apartments for Homeless Children in St. Petersburg
The "Vera" Homeless Shelter recently
opened its second group home for children
abandoned to the streets of St. Petersburg.
Shelter Director Georgy Sharkov navigated the
city bureaucracy and was able to gain use of
two apartments to establish family environments for children awaiting placement in foster
care or adoptive families. The Russian
Children's Welfare Society granted funds to
renovate these new homes.
Before the renovation
The first apartment houses up to seven
children between the ages of 4 and 12, while
the second accommodates teens ranging from
14 to 17. Each group lives with caretakers who
try to ready the youngsters for their new families, teaching them about responsibility while
offering warmth, attention, and a place to celebrate birthdays and holidays.
A bed of one's own and a quiet space for
study is a big deal for kids traumatized by the
most unimaginable of circumstances. Yulia's
mother, for example, brought her all the way
from Ukraine, only to leave her in a store. Sixyear-old Vitya lived with his drunken parents in
a fish warehouse. Fifteen-year-old Kolya was
on his own after his mother died, and ended up
infected with tuberculosis. All have finally
found refuge in these new group homes.
Not surprisingly, the "Vera" shelter's
motto is: "Every child should have a family."
The staff tries to reunite children with their bio-
Assisting Children with Cerebral Palsy and
Down's Syndrome
The Preodolenie-L Rehabilitation Center
in Moscow currently assists over 180 children
who are trying to "overcome" various disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, Down's Syndrome,
hearing impairment, blindness, diabetes,
autism, and scoliosis. The children work in
integrated groups where they learn patience,
social interaction and how to help others. The
mandatory involvement of parents also greatly
helps the rehabilitative process.
In operation since 1992, the Center has
treated many children and seen many success
stories. Maksim came to Preodolenie at the age
of three. Cerebral palsy left him unable to sit,
speak normally, or even hold his head up. He
can now sit independently in a chair and on a
horse and is exhibiting signs of intellectual
development. For other victims of cerebral
palsy, standing and walking hand in hand with
their mothers is a huge achievement. Three
autistic children, Vika, Roma, and Kolya, have
begun to speak and cooperate in group activi-
Learning to paint and overcome disabilities
Group activities at the
Preodolenie-L Center
One of the Center's innovative offerings
is "horse therapy" at a nearby stable.
Children are able to transfer the physical
skills acquired on horseback to improve their
posture, walking and sitting. The children
also have a large number of other activities to
choose from: theatre studio, flute studio,
choreography, singing, flower arranging,
beadwork, haircutting workshops, computer
class and English class. All classes are free
and run by professional teachers, psychologists, speech therapists and hippotherapists.
The Society's most recent grant of
$6,000 will be used to buy equipment for the
Center's "Theatre on Wheels" program. All
of the children and staff work with professional artists to put on concerts and shows
that are then performed at other orphanages,
schools and hospitals. New costumes, lighting equipment and other stage devices to
make their performances better than ever
will surely delight the youngsters!
Little residents seating at their newly
renovated room
logical families, when that is a desirable outcome, or find families willing to give these
young victims a normal upbringing. Given the
acute problem of under funded orphanages in
Russia, the "Vera" project merits praise because
it tries to avoid the institutionalizing of children
as much as possible.
The "Vera" shelter is currently working to
secure a third apartment by 2007 to provide a
home for victims of abuse. RCWS will
need your help to make sure funds are
RCWS Welcomes
New Board Member
Mr. Peter Tcherepnine, born in1939 in Paris,
France, has joined the RCWS Board of
Directors. He is the son of the highly respected
composer Alexander Tcherepnine (1899-1947)
and Hsien Ming, a talented Chinese pianist.
Peter's grandfather Nicolas Tcherepnine (18731945) was also a distinguished composer.
After attending schools in Paris and
Chicago, Peter graduated from Harvard College.
He spent two years in the U. S. Army as a
Lieutenant, Artillery and joined Loeb, Rhoades
& Company on Wall Street in 1962. He has been
with that firm and its successors for his entire
business career. Currently, Peter is President of
Loeb Partners Management, Inc. and Executive
Vice President of Loeb Partners Corp. His principal activity is managing money in individual
and pension accounts as well as an offshore
hedge fund. He describes himself as "an experienced investment manager and private speculator
with a strong preference for stocks after 40 years
of experience."
Mr. Tcherepnine currently is chairman of
Technology Colleges Trust Foundation; is on the
Board of the American Institute for Foreign
Study; is a Trustee of Richmond University in
London and is an Advisory Board Member of the
Dutchess Land Conservancy. He was formerly
Vice Chairman of the ASPCA and a board member of the China Institute.
His wife, Jessica Tcherepnine, is an
acclaimed botanical artist. She is currently a
director of the American Society of Botanical
Artists. Peter has two children by a previous
With the election of Peter Tcherepnine, the
RCWS Board is at its full complement of fifteen.
Page 10
Petroushka on the Hudson 2006
The 5th Annual Petroushka on the Hudson
cruise took place on Friday, June 9th, 2006.
After a week of rainy weather, the forecast
proved wrong and our guests enjoyed a pleasant
and clear evening as the World Yacht "Princess"
sailed around the Statue of Liberty, up the East
River to the U.N. and back to Pier 81.
Started in 2001 to introduce the younger
generation to the Society's important work, the
cruise has quickly grown into a highly anticipated late spring event, attracting approximately 250 attendees. Petroushka on the Hudson has
Barynya Balalaika Trio sailing the Hudson
"Big Change" Center for
Social Transition
help them succeed in college. Since its
founding in 2002, "Bolshaya Peremena" has
helped over 50 children successfully complete an individualized program that helps
them shore up learning deficits and pass
entrance examinations to vocational colleges and schools.
Students learn important study
skills and are acquainted with various professions before working toward entry to a
particular school. To catch up academically,
students enroll in classes at the center for 8
months, in hopes of passing a high school
equivalency exam. Many simply don't
know how to work independently or on sustained projects. Students participate in conferences where they are expected to give
reports and engage in debates on certain
topics to help them develop cognitive skills.
The students have access to a small library
and computers to help them with their
schoolwork. The center also organizes
excursions and trips to the theatre to expand
cultural knowledge.
The availability of special education programs in American schools, and the
right of parents to demand that the state
provide a sound education for their children
regardless of their special needs, is part of
the social safety net that still needs to be
developed in Russia. Programs like
"Bolshaya Peremena" are filling in the gap,
but rely on outside support to help them
succeed. RCWS recently offered the center a grant toward program costs.
gained popularity among many young professionals, including those who were born and
raised in Russia, in addition to first and secondgeneration Russian-American supporters. It is
hoped that these individuals will ensure the
continuance of the Society's philanthropic
efforts in the years to come.
While dining on the wonderful sit-down
buffet or taking libation from the open bar, our
always attractive guests were treated to stunning
views of New York City throughout the evening.
They also danced to a variety of Russian, gypsy,
Broadway, Euro and contemporary music selections. One of the event's highlights was a performance by Mikhail Smirnov and the Barynya
Balalaika Trio.
A silent auction took place on the main
deck, with gift donations that included: sculptures
"Zhar-Ptitsa" and "Ballerina" by
Imperial Porcelain Manufactory; book
"Russkaya Emigratsia v Fotografiakh"; a catalog of the exhibit Russia!; Kousmichoff Tea by
Vol. 11
Imports; Jewel
of Russia Vodka
presented by the
BMC Imports;
chocolate courtesy
Vladimir Fekula and
and other prizes.
Veronika Part, ABT
Each of the
female guests also received a long-stemmed
rose upon disembarking from the yacht.
Special thanks to Michael Jordan and Aton
Securities, Daniel Satchkov, Antony Jang,
Marus Lahrkamp, Nadia Lipsky, Anatoly
Vishnevetsky, Victoria Mintz and A. Korkunov
Chocolatier, DeMedici Imports, Ltd., Inna
Nagibina and The Soft Orchid Flower & Gift
Shop, Art Saguirian at BMC Imports, Tatiana
Sarandinaki, John Triolo at World Yacht, and
many other friends of the Society for making
our 5th Petroushka on the Hudson such a success.
RCWS Celebrates 80th Anniversary
This year, the Russian Children's Welfare Society proudly celebrates the 80th anniversary of
its founding in 1926. The original organizers announced their commitment to improving the lives of
Russian children throughout the world at the 125th Street YMCA in New York City. They embarked
on their mission with a modest contribution that was sent to support Russian shelters in Latvia, and
their legacy certainly lives on in the Society's many programs today.
The direction of the Russian Children's Welfare Society has been steered by many of the
20th century's tumultuous events. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 prompted the emigration of
large numbers of Russians to Europe, Asia, North and South America. By the early thirties, the
Society had ten branches operating throughout the United States and was sending money and material assistance to schools and organizations assisting Russian children in locales as diverse as Estonia,
Poland, Finland, France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Harbin, Shanghai and
Istanbul. The charity was specifically set up to help children outside of Russia.
The occupation of many of these countries during World War II suspended much of the
Society's work, which was prohibited after American entry to the war in 1941. After the liberation of
France in 1944, the Society worked very closely with the American Committee for Assistance to
France and managed to send $25,000 in cash, food and clothing. By 1945, RCWS assistance was
providing hot breakfasts in French schools, serving approximately 1,100 children.
During WWII, the Society's leadership decided to professionalize its operations. RCWS
eventually gained recognition by the Presidential War Relief Control Board as an approved charity for
work abroad during the war. By 1950, the Society was again sending relief to 14 countries.
With the dawn of the Cold War, it became all but impossible for the Society to send aid to
countries that fell behind the "iron curtain." The Society did carry on its work helping Russian children in western European countries, particularly France, as well as the Far East, South America and
the United States.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Society again shifted its focus and
resources to the many impoverished children living in Russia today. Fortunately, the Society received
a $4.5 million bequest from the estate of John Engalitcheff, Jr. in 1990. Through the Society's prudent investments and frugal financial practices, we are now able to channel 100% of our donations to
help sick and needy children and orphans in Russia today.
The most recent audited financial statement, dated December 31, 2005 show perhaps the
most productive year in our history. Contributions and revenue from fundraising events totaled
$722,112. The Society disbursed $725, 463 in direct aid to children principally to Russia. Some of
our programs are described throughout this newsletter.
The Society is proud of its accomplishments in its 80-year history, and pays tribute to all of
our predecessors and donors who transformed the organization into one of the leading charities in
Russia today. Along the way, great and important traditions such as the Petroushka Ball in New York
and the Yelka Party in Moscow have given the Russian community and its friends an opportunity to
celebrate Russian culture and advance the cause of Russian children in need. RCWS remains resolute in its mission and will continue to find ways to implement innovative programs in the 21st century, despite the unpredictability of world events.
Fall 2006
Page 11
RCWS Grants to Russia in 2005 - 2006
How You Can Help
Orphanages and Shelters:
"Shelter for Childhood," Moscow -$20,000 to cover electricity expenses for 12 months, new
electric boiler, salary of a caretaker/ instructor for 1 year, food and other basic expenses for accommodating 4 homeless teenagers.
Orphanage #2, Novomoskovsk, Tula region -$8,800 grant in 2006 toward a computer and vocational training equipment, books, supplies; $12,000 grant in 2005 to obtain an industrial
washer/dryer and iron, furniture, and provide educational seminars and local sightseeing tours for
the students.
Opochka Orphanage, Pskov region -$11,074 grant in 2005 to purchase carpenter's benches, cabinetmaking and metalworking tools, electric sewing machine, ironing board and sewing supplies.
Krasno-Dubravski Orphanage, Moscow region -$14,869 grant in 2005 for creating a summer
play ground and walking/cycling path.
Specialized Orphanage for Children with Learning Disabilities, Velikij Novgorod -$5,000 in
2005 to cover new dental equipment; $3,173 direct contribution in 2006 to cover the cost and installation of new industrial size dryer. Many thanks to The Edmond and Virginia Moriarty Foundation
for their on-going support.
Opochka Specialized Orphanage, Pskov region -$13,146 in 2006 to purchase equipment for
sporting facilities/gym. (See article, p. 8)
Krasnogorodsky Specialized Orphanage, Pskov - $8,586 in 2006 to purchase cabinet making
and carpentry equipment (See article, p. 8)
Pytalovo Specialized Orphanage, Pskov region - $6,641 for equipment for hearing impaired students. (See article, p. 8)
Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers:
All-Russia Children's Hospital for HIV-infected children, St. Petersburg - $10,000 to the hospital to hire 9 professionals to provide education and psychological assistance to 26 HIV infected
orphans. (See article, p. 2)
The Smile Train Project - continued funding of cleft surgeries by the local partner hospitals and
co-sponsorship of the II Training Symposium in Moscow (See article, p. 2). RCWS and The Smile
Train designated over $50,000 toward this project.
Children's Research Institute of Emergency Surgery and Trauma, Moscow - $16,000 for endoscopic surgical equipment. (See article, p. 5)
Rehabilitation Center "Inspiration", Nikolskoe-Gagarino - $10,600 grant in 2005 toward food,
furniture, vocational training equipment, art supplies, and clothing for children; $12,792 grant in
2006 toward food for children and utilities expenses. Also, this year the FactSet Research Systems
made a direct contribution of $10,000 toward the center's activities.
The Firebird Foundation - $10,000 grant toward the computer learning project for homebound
hemophiliacs in St. Petersburg. (See article, p. 4)
Rehabilitation Center "Maria's Children", Moscow - $5,000 grant toward summer sessions for
40 children, which include training on legal issues, psychology, cooking, and independent living.
(See article, p. 7)
"Preodolenie -L" Center for Vocational and Creative Rehabilitation of Disabled Children,
Moscow - $6,000 grant to underwrite expenses of their children's theatre. (See article, p. 9)
St. Petersburg Children's Fund "Aurora" - $10,000 grant toward special computer software,
repairs and equipment for 3 classrooms and 3 playing rooms, special furniture for children with
musculoskeletal system disorders, floor carpeting for classes, and bathroom repairs.
Russian Orthodox School, Tutaev - $10,684 grant in 2005 to establish carpentry and sewing
workshops; $12,502 grant in 2006 toward equipment for Computer Science and Art Education
classrooms, renovation of school facilities, furniture, and food.
St. Nicolas School, Kislovodsk - $18,250 grant in 2005 to cover furniture for classrooms and dining room; $11,900 grant in 2006 to cover food, sporting equipment, etc. (See article, p. 4)
Pushkin school in Novomoskovsk, Tula region - $10,000 grant toward books, office supplies,
sponsorship of students in national and international contests, and renovation of school facilities in
2005; $8,000 grant in 2006 toward books, subscription to magazines, supplies, and transportation.
Children's Russian Orthodox School, Avraamlev Monastery, Rostov - $7,000 grant toward
textbooks, furniture, equipment for Chemistry, Physics and computer classes, sporting equipment;
uniforms and shoes for children, food, renovation of the school.
St. Alexis School and Orphanage, Novoalexeevka - $10,000 grant for roof repairs.
Beslan Relief Fund - RCWS directed over $50,000 to assist victims in Beslan.
Federal Prison for Teenagers in Mozhaisk -$9,059 grant to renovate diagnostic room & purchase
a new X-Ray machine to diagnose and prevent tuberculosis and other diseases. (See article, p. 3)
Opochka Pedagogical College, Pskov region - $4,238 grant to equip the student's dormitory
facilities. (See article, p.8)
(List incomplete)
RCWS is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization recognized by the IRS. Tax ID #135562332. The Society relies on private donations to support its various programs. Our
endowment allows 100% of donations go
directly to help Russian children. We are also
seeking corporate sponsors to help fund our
ongoing programs in Russia. All contributions are tax deductible.
Save the Date!
42th Annual Petroushka Ball
at the Waldorf Astoria,
February 9th, 2007
call RCWS at 212-473-6263 for tickets, ads,
auction donations and special sponsorships.
Please join us in helping - and thank you
in advance for your kind support!
__ Please accept my gift of $_______
__ Please direct my gift to:
_Orphanages & Homeless Shelters
_Medical Programs
_Scholarship Program
__ I enclose my check
__ Please debit my credit card
(Master Card, Visa, or American Express)
__ I wish to make a gift of stock.
Please contact me.
__ I/We have remembered RCWS in
our Will. Please contact me.
__I can help with RCWS fundraising
activities. Please contact me.
__I would like to volunteer.
Vladimir P. Fekula, President & CEO
Anna Sergeeva-Gross, Director of New York Office
Masha Vorobieva, Director of Development
Ludmilla Koroleva, Director of Moscow Office
Zhanna Petrenko, Accountant
NEW YORK, NY 10003
888-732-RCWS, 212-473-6263
EMAIL: [email protected], WWW.RCWS.ORG