Reflecting on 20 Years of Connections
This year we’ve been continuing to celebrate and reflect on 20 years of supporting projects which enable disadvantaged young people to realise their potential. The journey started with a partnership between Ecologia and Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia during Perestroika – a time when barriers between the West and USSR were breaking down allowing people to reach out, get to know different cultures and make new friends.
Being separated from one’s parents and family creates disadvantage, and our commitment is to empower disadvantaged young people which includes creating opportunities to make friends in other cultures. Kitezh and Orion Children’s Communities have been graced by over 350 volunteers and school children since we began supporting them, who have helped look after the children and teach them English, and have supported both the children and the community through daily activities like cooking and games.
Weaving Connections Around the World
The weaving of connections extends throughout all our projects, with several of our projects having formed connections with each other as well as welcoming in volunteers.
Our volunteers have created a worldwide network of ambassadors for Ecologia, weaving connections not only with the communities in which they are volunteering but also with their universities, schools and work-places, generating new connections. Volunteers like Ed (Kitezh, Spring 2016) and Felicity (Orion, Spring 2016) often tell us that volunteering has brought a whole new perspective. You can read about Ed and Felicity’s experiences in our Summer Newsletter.
Weaving his own web of connections throughout Britain is our very own super marathon man and campaigner, Simon Clark. Beginning on Easter Sunday, Simon has already run more than 1000 miles and raised more than a third of his £10,000 target.
Spreading Wings and Sharing Knowledge
Those of you who have been following the growth over the years of Kitezh Childrens Community will be interested to hear that the Sinko twins are about to spread their wings: at the age of 18 Natasha plans to train as a hairdresser and Alexey has enrolled in college to study music technology.
And in Myanmar, as part of the ‘We Love Inle Lake’ Big Lottery funded project in collaboration with local NGO Kalyana Mitta Foundation, we’re providing eco-farming training for young people like Ma Kyin Htwe who will be sharing this knowledge with her family and communities, helping sustain methods from generation to generation.
You can read even more stories about how the connections that have been weaved are changing, transforming and uplifting those that our project partners support in our Summer 2016 Newsletter.