Meeting of American and Belarusian Orthodox Youth in the Minsk Theological Academy
Eleven young delegates from different states of Eastern America will be volunteering at the st. Elizabeth orphanage in Minsk, Belorussia. For almost all of the young men and women, of this group this will be their first-ever visit to Minsk or even to their historic homeland. During their visit to the Belarussian capital, they will join the Theological Academy and the youth department for a symposium on the preservation of their faith, traditions and culture. Our kids are preparing presentations to reveal to the youth of Belarus how their families preserved their traditions and culture for decades living in America. Of course, participating in the symposium and unofficial meetings will help the kids make new friends.
In conjunction with our work as volunteers at the orphanage we are implementing our 3rd annual “School Piggybank” program. This year’s proceeds of what our schoolchildren collected will go towards building a park at the orphanage.. The park will not only be open to the orphans themselves but other “special” children with developmental needs. These children don’t necessarily need swings or electronic games, they need love and support. The dynamic of their development depends to a great degree on contact with others. The nurses at the orphanage help the children by playing with them developmental games and go on nature trips.
It will occupy five parcels of land, each devoted to a specific function: helping with taste, touch, smell, vision, hearing. The venue will include a petting zoo with domesticated animals. There will be a garden, multi-sensory trail consisting of alternating tree bark, sand, grains, gravel and other materials.
Our volunteers will be learning the importance of community service and helping those in need.