In July 2014, a School group of 8 pupils from St Paul’s Girls’ School, 3 from Bristol Grammar School and 1 from Bedales School visited Orion Children’s Community with their Russian teacher Irina Ninnis, to experience Russian culture within the Kitezh Children’s Community. Irina writes:
It has been a fantastic trip. The girls have made new friends, enjoyed working together on intercultural projects, doing volunteering work, lessons planning and interacting with kids and adults. They coped wonderfully with rather unusual for them tasks like carpentry, plastering, washing up, household cleaning and working in the kitchen garden. There was no time to get bored or homesick. The weather was beautiful and a trip to the local river Nara was a real and unexpected treat for them. They all had a time of their life and are already hoping that I will take them their again next year.
We met a lot of fantastic people who are dedicated to their work, open, friendly, enormously talented and resourceful. It was a real pleasure meeting them and working with them and I sincerely hope that this is not the end but a beginning to a new long term work together.
Anna Chulack, one of the pupils from St Paul’s Girls’ School had the following to say about her experience at Kitezh:
My time at Orion was truly one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences I have ever had, cheesy as it may sound. I enjoyed myself immensely and really felt that I had made somewhat of a difference, whether it be by painting walls, acting as a translator (as I knew both languages better most) or simply by chatting with or playing games with the children.
I would recommend this volunteering program with highest regards to anyone interested in learning about the differences between their native culture and Russian culture and in improving their Russian and communicative skills in general.