Learning Center for Refugee Children
The Center was set up in 1996 when many refugees from Chechnya flooded Moscow and Moscow schools closed their doors (illegally) for the children whose parents had no registration in Moscow. A few young Committee-close people and their friends (mainly students) started giving free classes to the children who did not go to school. In 2001 Moscow government stopped (due to the Committee efforts) this discriminatory practice but the demand for the Center has not diminished: many migrant children who lag behind their classmates or have been through high stress (war, persecution) need help.
Classes (individual only) are held 4 times a week. The Center is attended by 30-40 children (aged 6 to 18) at a time. It happens that one student is learning letters and another (sitting at a nearby desk) is getting prepared for entrance exams.
Volunteers at the Center are mostly students or recent graduates of Moscow higher institutions, however, there are older people, too.
Classes are held in such subjects as Russian, English, Maths etc. Each student decides what he/she wants to study and the aim of the Center is to find an appropriate teacher. Besides individual classes, there are group lessons in cultural studies, physics and drawing. Also, there is a psychologist who works with children having psychological problems.
Children not only study: they play football, badminton, go on excursions and visit different cities. On “study” days we all get together around a big table for tea and sandwiches. Children find new friends in the Center and these new friends, walks around Moscow and trip help them better know our country and love it.