On 28 September 2019, families from the township of Nadezhda together with numerous partners and guests from Moscow and Leningrad and Ryazan Oblasts will join the Nadezhda’s Semitsvetik [Seven-Colour Flower/Wishing Flower] programme of festivities to mark the 10th anniversary of the township. The programme has been sponsored by the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko, the Klyuch Foundation and the Leningrad Oblast Government.
The families and guests will be offered congratulations by guests such as Aleksandr Drozdenko, governor of Leningrad Oblast, Elvira Garifulina, head of the Family and Children programme of the Timchenko Foundation, mayors and experts of Leningrad Oblast, spokespeople for Ryazan Oblast’s township, as well as former foster children from the township.
The brainchild of Elena and Gennady Timchenko, the Nadezhda township in the Gatchina district of Leningrad Oblast dates back to 2009. The relatively short space of time has witnessed changes not only in townspeople but in public attitudes towards foster parenthood, and in the township itself.
It was designed as a place for foster families to have a congenial environment for raising children. Over 10 years the Nadezhda township has become home to 23 families, with 212 people living here at various times, including 167 children. 122 children found a new family here. The township has its own leisure centre, services are in place to support and counsel families to steer them through challenges. Throughout these years, the parents have been studying, gaining new experience and growing together with their children. They can now be called professional mums and dads, who are willing to share their experience, knowledge and know-how and to growth the township as a resource centre for professionals and families in Leningrad Oblast.
The birthday people attach a special meaning to the name of their special occasion, Nadezhda’s Semitsvetik. A family for foster children is truly a miracle, a dream come true and “sem ya” [seven I’s = «family» in Russian when written as one word]. The magical wishing flower has seven petals, which are seven components to the township’s growth: its history, foster families and leavers, experts, sponsors and friends, projects and ideas, is vision of the future. Seven petals of the life of the Nadezhda township will unfold in the fairy tale at the Nadezhda’s Semitsvetik festivities.
Adults and children will be treated to a rich themed-concert programme. The families and guests will revisit the brightest pages of history, thank their steadfast helpers and sponsors and have a reunion with former foster children. The children will join fun competitions, games and masterclasses, while their parents and experts will be untangling knotty relationships, sharing parenting hacks and celebrate their children’s successes as part of Library of Real-Life Stories.
Among the most valuable gifts to the celebrators will be a book of stories told by foster parents of the Nadezhda township. Although each family has its own rite of passage, all these families are united by their ability to love and understand children, give warmth and care to those who have lost their parents. The book will enable mums and dads to take a fresh look at their relationships with their children, learn about the challenges faced by other families, and how they succeeded in overcoming them.