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Train of Hope Makes Its 15th Trip, Uniting Foster Families with Children in Vladivostok

Mar 19, 2012

At 12:00 on 19 March 2012, participants of the Train of Hope initiative departed to Primorye, in the Russian Far East.

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Potential foster families met at Belorussky Rail Terminal for the official part of the event, from where they departed to Sheremetyevo Airport in a special Aeroexpress carriage to take a flight to the other side of Russia. There, in the Far East, they will be awaited by children who have suffered the misfortune of losing their parents at some point in their lives.

The Train of Hope initiative involves arranging meetings of potential adopters and guardians with children who have been deprived of parental care. The Train of Hope is an exclusive programme of the Children’s Issue project, which has been developed by Radio Rossii (Radio of Russia), a public radio station, and is already in its seventh year. The Rasprav Krylya (Spread Your Wings) Charity Fund has been acting as a co-organizer of the programme since 2007. In 2008, the initiative was joined by Aeroflot. Aeroexpress has been a long-term partner of the programme since 2009.

The main aim of the organizers is to draw public attention to the plight of children deprived of parental care and to help them to find new families. Georgy Moskvichyov, producer of the Children’s Issue project on Radio Rossii noted that, “Over its six years of existence, the Train of Hope has visited various corners of our country – Kaliningrad Region, the Urals, Siberia, and the Volga Region. Now we are going to the Far East”.

Anna Abbasova, President of the Rasprav Krylya Fund expressed her hope for every family participating in the Train of Hope initiative to find their child. “It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen this time. They will find the best match for them during another journey, as has happened more than once. We are sure that the large-scale publicity campaign will attract other families to follow the participants of the programme and visit Primorsky Territory, and local residents who live in the surrounding areas will also pay attention to these children. This has happened in every region visited by the Train of Hope so far”.

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This time, 11 families from various regions of Russia are taking part in the Train of Hope initiative to Vladivostok, including from the Republic of Adygea, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, Arkhangelsk, Bryansk Region, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Moscow Region.

Irina Manuilova, State Duma Deputy and member of the Families, Mothers and Children Committee, Tatiana Ustinova, a famous Russian writer, Mikhail Potokin, Chairman of the Diocesan Council Social Service Commission, and Vladimir Bushuev, member of the Guardian Council of the Rasprav Krylya Fund, came to support the participants of the initiative.

Anna Abbasova, President of the Rasprav Krylya Charity Fund, Georgy Moskvichyov, First Deputy Director of Radio Rossii, Vyacheslav Umanovsky, Director of Radio Rossii, Inna Zotova, Manager of the Children’s Issue project, and Vadim Semikin, Chief Public Relations Officer of Aeroexpress, were all present at the event.

The main aims and objectives of the Train of Hope project were discussed, as well as the results of previous journeys, and changes in Russian adoption procedures which have come into effect since the programme began. The organizers also shared their future plans with the guests. In particular, it was suggested that the Train of Hope project will rise to federal-level status and gain support from the federal government. Plans to organize similar independent initiatives at the regional level were also mooted.

Parents and children who had taken part in previous Train of Hope trips were guests of the ceremony. The parents shared their experiences with potential adopters, while the children supported the participants by reciting poems about mothers. Aeroexpress wishes patience and every success to the participants of the initiative. We hope that each family will come back on 25 March with a child, and maybe even two!