On 7-12 April 2013 the group of Maria’s Children volunteers paid a traditional visit to School #1 in Beslan. 

For the 7th year running, we left for a few days our cold lands and immersed ourselves into the warmth of get-togethers and mutual creativity, enjoyed socializing with our close friends, children and teachers.

Just like in previous years, we prepared a number of master-classes for all the interested pupils, and it’s no small amount - there are over 900 of them! But our team was also bigger than usual – 26 people including volunteers from Moscow, Netherlands, Spain and Canada.

The choice of master-classes was also quite diverse. We drew a collective picture, played various games, made Venecian masks and cartoons, painted walls in the gym, hadjournalism and photography workshops, tie-dyed t-shirts, did improvisations and clowning, had a wire sculpting masterclass, learned to dance. We also had a “trust” workshop, first aid training and a psychological seminar for high school students. In the course of the three days the children could choose master-classes they were interested in; on the fourth day all the students and volunteers organized a joint concert where they demonstrated what they had learned.

We were also happy to visit children at the Khoory Tyn orphanage in Vladikavkaz again. Our performers showed children some of their numbers, and then for a long time we played our favourite clown-games in a large and friendly circle.

We cordially thank our volunteers - Guillaume Vermette, Rodney Daly (Chip), Andy Emeritz, Marleen van Os, Cornelius Kranen, Alfredo Muino, Marta Alonso Tejada, Julie Pedersen, Oksana Yushko, Artur Bondar, Anna and Olga Eliseeva, Asya and Ilya Segalovich, Maria Dermicheva, Bella Shakhmirza, Yulia Klechina, Anna Drozdova, Zhanna Novikova, Alexander Kolmanovsky, Sergey Gerasyutenko, Kristina Kozyreva, Sona Stepanyan, Aslan Gaysumov, Ivan Antonov.

Our Beslan friends Nadezhda and Ira Guriev again hosted part of our large group at their house surrounding us with family atmosphere, while the high school students helped her! We express our gratitude to the school principal Liudmila Dzutseva, head teacher Elena Kasumova and all the teachers for their enthusiasm and cooperation. We are your eternal pupils and you will always inspire us!

We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Ministry of Education of North Ossetia, and are personally grateful to its minister Alan Ogoev and deputy minister Vladislav Totrov for cooperation and high evaluation of our work.

And what a pleasure it was to inhale the fragrance of blooming Caucasus mountains and enjoy the hospitability of our friends Marat Mindzaev and Zita Salbieva in their cozy country house.

UTair Airlines were able to generously give us tickets with a discount, which helped to save us money for thework we do with our children. We are so grateful to the wonderful UTair staff members and the Director General Andrey Martirosov for such an involvement in our project and in particular to Rumina Elifkhanova for being so considerate and understanding.

Katerina Kronstedt helped our foreign volunteers in their long journey by providing the guests with free rooms in her incredibly homey hotel Katerina. Thank you, dear Katerina!

We are so thrilled that the summer comes again soon and that we will meet some of our Beslan friends again in the Summer camp!