Visit to Solnishko Orphanage
They were invited to visit Solnishko Orphanage on the outskirts of Moscow, and work with disadvantaged children with mild learning difficulties.
The children arrived earlier than planned and were greeted by the Director of the orphanage with tea and biscuits. This was a time where the children could discuss and ask any question or worries they had about how they should act, and what they should say if they were asked some difficult questions, such as what is it like to have a mum and dad? The Director told them to be truthful and to be yourself. The maturity shown by the ISM students was fantastic to see and this was how they stayed throughout the visit.
When the children arrived, the ISM students greeted them warmly and there was no signs of nerves, they were being themselves! The first activity was to create a sunflower with each petal being a different emotion. The children partnered up and used magazines to cut out people that showed emotions, such as love and anger. Anger was quite a difficult emotion to portray from the magazines until one of the students from ISM (Uliana) drew an angry face on one of the people. A huge roar of laughter erupted from the children around Uliana and immediately the ice was broken between the two groups of children. After this, you could hear the children having wonderful conversations.
The next task was a surprise masterclass, arranged by the orphanage. They created a painting using paint dipped into water. This is an activity the children at the orphanage take part in quite often and they were keen to show the ISM students how it was done. The results were amazing and this was achieved by teamwork and camaraderie.
The next masterclass was set up by the fantastic ISM Councillor, Miss. Polina. The masterclass was called Sand Therapy and was aimed at the children of the orphanage to show and explain the emotions they are feeling, by adding objects to the sand to create ‘their world’. It was an extremely interesting activity to watch, in how a simple question or adding something into ‘their world’ can change a person's perspective on life. The ISM students were simply amazing at raising the spirits of the children if they began to add negative items into the sand area.
Time had quickly past and it was time to depart the orphanage. Before this, there was time for a group photo and to give the presents that were kindly donated by the Yushkevich family.
As the students departed, the Director of the orphanage admitted that she was worried that the children would become angry or upset as these were the emotions they showed quite often. However; she was delighted that this was not the case and put this down to the wonderful attitude and care that was shown by each and every one of the ISM students.