SOS Children's Village Kandalaksha

Sponsored boy in SOS Village in RussiaKandalaksha is situated in the south of the Kola Peninsula on the White Sea coast and has about 44,000 inhabitants. The situation of orphans and abandoned children in the area is devastating, the state orphanages are overcrowded and financial means are lacking. In 1998, SOS Children's Villages carried out an aid programme, providing 2,600 children in orphanages or with foster parents with winter clothing and hygiene articles. A suitable plot of land for building the fourth Russian SOS Children's Village was found in Luvenga, a suburb of Kandalaksha and a typical workers' district. The property is well integrated into the local community and is connected to the public supply system. Publicly-run kindergartens and schools are located within walking distance. The official opening ceremony took place on 15 August 2004 in the presence of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, representatives of the Russian government and numerous other honorary guests.

SOS Children's Village Kandalaksha consists of four rows of three terraced houses each and offers a home to twelve SOS families. Besides, a communal building, an administration area, a workshop and houses for the village director and the SOS aunts (who support the SOS mothers and take care of the children when the mothers are on leave) are part of SOS Children's Village Kandalaksha. Up to 84 children can be accommodated. A sports field was created outside the SOS Children's Village which can be used by children both from the SOS Children's Village and from the neighbourhood.

Additionally, a Foster Family Project in Murmansk is being coordinated which, in many aspects, is an innovative project for Russia: the biological families of the children are involved, foster parents receive training, etc. The family strengthening programme offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children. The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills.