Kitezh Children's Community
consists of two villages: Kitezh
and its sister community, Orion
. Kitezh and Orion are non-profit communities of foster families whose aim is simple: to give abandoned or orphaned children a real chance in life.
Founded on the principles of therapeutic education, and care for the environment, the communities are located in rural Kaluga region, south of Moscow. At present there are 35 children and 20 adults living in Kitezh, and three hours away, 13 children and 10 adults live at Orion. In time, the villages will expand to be a home for many more children.
Ever since it all began, Ecologia has been actively involved organising professional training, sending volunteers,
and raising funds for growth and development.
Through Global Giving Challenge in 2011 we raised £8,500 from 123 donors to complete a new foster family home at Orion Children's Community! To continue your support click here
Kitezh Orion website www.kitezh.org
Kitezh and Orion are joyful, safe places for children, in stark contrast to most Russian State orphanages. They are communities of dedicated foster parents, teachers, and psychologists who fill each child’s day with active work, study and play.
The graduates of Kitezh and Orion enter adulthood as strong, stable individuals capable of playing their part in society. A remarkably high proportion of them go on to higher education, with many planning to return in order to give back to other children what they received.
All year round volunteers come from all over the world to Kitezh and Orion to help with building, work in the gardens and teach English to the children.
To learn more about their therapeutic methods read an extract from founder Dimitry Morozov's book
KITEZH: a community approach to raising children in Russia Read More >
You can order the book from our Online Shop.
Kitezh was founded in 1992 during Perestroika by Dimitry Morozov, a successful Moscow journalist, on an empty piece of land 300km from Moscow. Despite harsh economic conditions, he and his dedicated group of volunteer foster families built a thriving rural eco-village community with 14 houses, a church, a school and a farm. Together they developed a home for orphaned Russian children from extreme social situations. The community is now well established with a unique form of therapeutic education for the children that helps them to heal the trauma they experienced when they were very young.
For an insight into one foster child’s experience read a letter from Valya to her prospective foster mother, Lena. Read More >
Orion is the first step towards creating a network of children's therapeutic communities in Russia. Spearheaded by founder Dmitry Morozov with Masha Pichugina who grew up at Kitezh, Orion will become home for 10 foster families and 40 orphan children. Although three hours drive apart, the two villages are closely connected. Several people from Kitezh now live at Orion and the children regularly gather to learn or work on a project together.
In 2004 the first house was built for two families. Much of the early building was done by the Kitezh graduates who were studying at university in Moscow. They dug foundations, laid bricks and heaved logs to build houses for the new families. There are now seven homes for families and they try to build one more each year. The most ambitious project at Orion was to build the Education Centre, an elegant circular building that houses classrooms, an auditorium and a communal dining area.
Orion's website www.orionfuture.org