The main goals of the new organization to integrate Russian youth abroad through the strengthening of national identity.

Events

3 November, 2019

Gymnazia's 70 Years Anniversary Ball Fundraiser

Congratulations to the sts. Kyrill and Methodius Russian school in San Francisco for their 70th anniversary!!!

The only Russian school in San Francisco with a 10 year program fulfilling the spiritual and academic needs of the Russian community in San Francisco. The Prince Vladimir Youth Association is a proud sponsor of the gala ball Program Event benefitting the school.

15 September, 2019

Social service volunteer field trip

The main purpose of our trip to Belarus was to interact as volunteers and learn about social service work. In this program 11 college students from different states travelled to Belarus visiting orphanages, children’s hospice communities and boarding schools for orphans. We visited a boarding school not far from Polotsk, which has 120 students from grades 1-12, who for one reason or another were deprived of their parents. They are taught the various trades to obtain professional habits which will help them in life after they graduate from the boarding school and are set out on their own. As part of the trip we learned of the children’s hospice at Samarian Rehabilitation Center for handicapped children, which is a joint project of the Pinsk Diocese Social Service Department and St. Barbara Convent of Pinsk. This year our “School piggy bank” program raised $11,000 for this hospice. This money will go towards the heating system of the hospice premises, including the church and all the buildings. The center is built with a church in the center and rooms surrounding it so that children in wheelchairs and even beds can be wheeled into the church. We were able to participate is assisting the staff with light volunteer work at an orphanage for children with special needs in Minsk.  Thanks to our “School piggy bank” program a special sensory park and petting zoo was built for the orphans.  This park allows the children with special needs to engage and develop their sensory organs: vision, smell and touch. We were happy to see what benefit these children get from the sensory park.
29 May, 2019

ROAD TRIP TO MINSK

From May 29 to June 7th a group of 10 college kids from different states in America will be traveling to Minsk. The purpose of their visit is to escort the relics of the Grand duchess st. Elizabeth and participate in volunteer social service efforts. As part of the trip, the students will get better acquainted with youth in Belorussia and will be participating in the established ‘school piggy bank” program.  
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News

On June 3-4, 2019 college students from different states of the U.S. headed by the chairman of The Prince Vladimir Youth Association V.Rev. Andrei Sommer visited the Minsk Spiritual Seminary. Escourting the delegation was the president of the Synodal Youth Dept. of the Belorussian Orthodox church V.Rev. Ivan Zadorozin. The focus of the visit was to exchange experiences keeping one’s faith, traditions and heritage with students of the seminary. After students gave their presentations a lively Q&A was moderated by the Dean of the seminary V.Rev. Andrei Zigul. Students spent time afterwards informally enjoying the grounds of the campus making new connections for future gatherings.
In the framework of the initiated program “School Piggy Bank”, The Prince Vladimir Youth Association,  are organizing financial assistance to the “Samaritan- rehabilitation center” – orphanage/hospice in the city of Pinsk, Belorussia. Most of the children there never had a home and have serious complex diagnoses. This good deed will take the form of a program known as the “School Piggy Bank” program, children helping children. We appeal to you to help support these poor orphans. Love is expressed in actions and thanks to your efforts last year we were able to build a needed park for orphans of special needs in the city of Minsk. Donations will be collected from March 7 –April 27, 2019. Checks should be made out to: The Prince Vladimir Youth Association and sent c/o V.Rev. Andrei Sommer, 75 E.93rd st, New York, NY 10128. http://youthpv.org/donation/      

"Your thoughts" is a new special section of the website currently launched and includes a variety of resources about events, meetings & travels where our youth participates actively.

 

This section already presents “Your thoughts” after participating in SYMPOSIUM Remembering the 100th year of the Royal Martyrs:

http://youthpv.org/events/symposium-remembering-the-100th-year-of-the-royal-martyrs/

as well as “Your thoughts” after the Meeting of American and Belarusian Orthodox Youth in the Minsk Theological Academy:

http://youthpv.org/events/meeting-of-american-and-belarusian-orthodox-youth-in-the-minsk-theological-academy/      
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Thoughts

Its tough to fit all of my positive and memorable experiences from this trip on one page. This trip definitely gave me a new perspective on how other parts of the world perceive the faith. We escorted bringing the relics of St Elizabeth with us and we were treated like family as if  we have known fellow Belorussian Christians for many years. One of my favorite parts was definitely getting to spend time with people in the orthodox community from America that helped strengthen my faith and also helped expand my relationships within the Orthodox community. I did a lot of things for the first time such as directly venerating relics, trying Belorussian food, seeing a new church get consecrated, getting interviewed, presenting in front of seminarians, and a ton of other things.  One of the most memorable experiences was visiting the orphanages, it definitely gave me a new perspective on life and how blessed we are to live like we do in America. It was a blessing to see where the money that was our Russian Orthodox parishes raised went to and how happy it made the orphans. It was amazing to see how our parish can impact communities around the world. When we saw the kids’ expressions of how happy they felt with the animals in the petting zoo and playground we had helped sponsor for them it just brought me to tears. It gave me motivation to appreciate the things I often take for granted. This trip helped me grow in my faith most importantly and I will never forget the experience from it.
From visiting many exquisite churches and monasteries to driving through the countryside our trip to Belarus was an experience I will never forget.  .  Meeting the youth from Belarus was a great way to get to know more about the country.  Being taught what the norms are in Belarus and seeing how different it is to the United States.  Also being able to connect with the youth by singing Russian folk songs all together was very heartwarming. My favorite church we visited was the All Saints Church located in Minsk.  Not only was it the most impressive as it seemed to take my breath away as soon as I stepped inside.  Every space of the church was covered in miraculous icons, paintings, mosaics, or colorful stones.  My own saint, Saint Olga of Kiev icon was among the many saints as well as my favorite Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco. Polotsk was my favorite town we visited in Belarus.  The friendly small city environment as well as the beautiful Saint Euphrosyne Monastery were amazing memories.  Seeing Saint Euphrosyne relics as well as the chains she secretly wore under her garments were very inspirational. We got to visit two orphanages throughout our trip.  As it might have been hard to see some of the children's conditions it was relieving to know that they are being taken care of by such kind and gentle people.  We got to spend some time playing with the children in their brand new petting zoo, which was raised from last years “school piggy bank” donations.  Being able to see and pet the different kinds of animals brought a huge smile to each of children living at the orphanage.. I got to travel with some people that I had already knew  before the trip as well  getting to meet new people. Sharing new experiences with new and old friends in a foreign country was a special event for me. This trip has made me appreciate everything that I have and thankful to my family for preserving my Russian culture and our religion.  It has motivated me to be able to pass this down to my future children and hopefully that line will never end.  I hope that trips like this will continue in order to help others and create connections with other Orthodox youth.
“Sorry, but where is Belarus?” the polite, but marked confusion on my coworker’s face was not an uncommon occurrence as I relayed my summer travel plans. Like many people in America, Belarus is often lumped in with Russia or the former Soviet Union. Therefore, not many know that it even exists, or perhaps how it differs from Russia. Admittedly, the roots of Russians and Belarussians are the same and they share more similarities than differences. However, my perception that we were going to arrive in little Russia was not completely accurate—instead, what I came to learn was the Belarus has a unique, Slavic and orthodox spirit. As our bus rolled through the green hills and birch trees during our trip, we would often reflect that this is a small, but mighty country. We saw a milder temperament than the Russian spirit, but we also saw the same resilience. We learned from our guide that Minsk had been rebuilt eighteen times, yet as you walked the streets, you felt the pull of history. Although it had been destroyed, it had been rebuilt with the same prestige and dignity. Soviet ideals, western agenda and Russian values pulled from all sides. In a conversation with a relative of mine from Belarus, discussing the difficulties of living in a country with a struggling economy like theirs, he said, “They always tell us that there’s something difficult ahead and we will soon fall apart again… yet somehow we are all still here, standing, working and praising God.” This is the Belarussian spirit- fervent, resilient and rooted in an Orthodox history. Within a few minutes of arriving into Minsk, we were taken to the monastery dedicated to my saint, St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess. The monastery was infused with her feminine and sophisticated spirit. It was clean, detailed and constantly radiated her warmth. The nuns took such great care in honoring her, I even noticed the lily, her favorite flower, planted near the pond. Not everyone is able to personally connect to their saints’ story, but after reading her life, I knew why my parents had specifically chosen her for me. Just as St. Elizabeth did, I want to dedicate myself to helping others with creativity and excellence, to live in the world, but not be of the world, to stay constant when faced with fame, fortune, or disaster, to develop a wide range of talents and be fully present in a Christian life. As we traveled to orphanages, I saw people dedicating themselves to helping others with this same fervor. Working with limited resources, often without being compensated, we witnessed people give their lives to take care of bedridden children, that were often not even their own. We were reminded of the ferocity of World War II as we walked through the museum and read about Belarussian casualties. However, we were again reminded of their resilience as they rebuilt and lived on. Many of us began to feel reconnected to our roots, to our faith and to something larger than our limited experiences. With the conclusion of the trip, we understood how we must personally bring this spirit of strength shown by Belarus and St. Elizabeth back to our parishes and expand this sentiment outwards into our local communities.
Prince Vladimir Youth Association
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About us
Keeping with the traditions established in youth work starting in the 1950's this youth association dedicated to the memory of Prince Vladimir will create opportunities for those interested in helping their local communities.
The Youth Association of Prince Vladimir is working with the department on work with youth at the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
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