The drive from Vladimir to Barskoye Gorodishe is bumpy, but quiet. As city life fades from your rearview mirror, you enter a rural world which induces a time-warped surrealism. You notice women carrying buckets of water from the village well, herds of cattle wading into the river.
Upon arriving at the orphanage, it is easy to see that it is not like the others The Boaz Project serves. To be precise, it isn’t an orphanage.
The facility in Barskoye Gorodishe is a school internot. It is similar to an orphanage, but provides for children with learning disabilities. Instead of walking to the local public school, the children receive a reduced education on-site.
After the eight years of classes they attend, they will have the equivalent of a fifth-grade education.
In the meantime, the children learn agricultural skills: raising pigs, butchering cattle, growing potatoes. These trades help meet the needs of the internot and prepare the children for work in their adulthood.
For now, the campus is spread amongst several buildings. The girls sleep in the beds crammed into one building; the boys in another. They are schooled in what was once a duke’s residence. The livestock reside in a couple of barns, and the children eat in what was once a Russian Orthodox cathedral seized by the Soviet government.
Recently, the Russian Orthodox Church has petitioned to reclaim their cathedral turned cafeteria and the surrounding land. Without that facility, the children will be forced to move.
Their new home will be on the outskirts of Suzdal, the quaint and cozy capital of Russian Orthodxy. The two large buildings they have been given are joined by a small atrium, preventing the need for the children to endure Russia’s cold and snow between dorm life, classes and meals.
The Boaz Project needs volunteers to join them June 3-11 to ready the “new” home for the children to move into it. You don’t have to be a professional contractor (though we’d welcome that!) to be helpful. Anyone willing to yield a paintbrush or mop can help to make the facility a home.
In addition to manpower, we will need an estimated $8,000 to buy the supplies needed. The plan is to repair the floors and walls throughout the facility and erect a fence around it.
To contribute, please click HERE
Together, we can provide a welcoming environment for the precious children of the Barskoye Gorodishe internot.
Russia Trip Construction Project 2014 from The Boaz Project, Inc. on Vimeo.