Passport magazine: Russian lifestyle
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Dear Sir,

This fall, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Russia is opening a Moscow program. As we read in the April issue of Passport about the state of Russian orphanages and life of those orphans, this is a program for Russians and Foreigners to volunteer for a specific child and open new worlds for such children in Russia. We are working to create a rich civil society in Russia by encouraging mentoring with children at-risk and orphans to provide them with a caring, responsible, adult role model. Children who participate in our program show improved school performance and attendance, fewer rates of alcohol and drug abuse, and a greater emotional balance and tolerance.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Moscow

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Russia has been working with disadvantaged children for 15 years. The one-on-one mentoring model pioneered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in 1904 is currently serving over one million children in more than thirty countries. We are proud to be recognized as one of the leading international programs for mentoring, and with your assistance and involvement we strive to become the foremost mentoring program in Russia.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring model is based on adult volunteers [Bigs] who want to be important in the life of a child a child who needs a responsible and caring role model. A Big, who is carefully screened and trained, is matched with a [Little] who is between the ages of 6 and 16, from a single parent home or an orphanage. Littles want a caring adult in their lives someone to confide in, look up to, and have fun with. Once matched, the Bigs and Littles spend between 4 and 10 hours per month together doing what they like to do: playing sports, working on the computer, going for walks, enjoying ice cream, doing home work, visiting the zoo, etc. In recognition of differing work schedules and other commitments, we have developed a variety of mentoring programs to best suit your lifestyle- from college students to business professionals, couples, and pensioners. Our mentoring relationships start with Little Moments, they Create Magic, and result in Great Impacts for both the volunteer and the child!

 are at least 25 years of age, and should have been together for at least two years. One member of the couple should be fluent or near fluent in Russian. This program matches couples with a child for a unique two-to-one relationship. This friendship can help the child understand the concept of a family, supportive relationships, acceptance, and broadens perspectives. The Couple agrees to spend time with the Little a minimum of 3 times a month for one year. Sports and Broadway Buddies are matched in a one-onone relationship. This one-on-one mentoring relationship is similar to our community-based model; however Bigs commit to take their Little to a sporting or cultural event once a month for six months. This model provides the opportunity for building friendships and a foundation for modeling good sportsmanship, creative interests and nurturing new horizons. The sports buddies groups are for those Bigs from the same corporate entity who will be matched with an equal number of Littles for sporting events and games. The Sports and Broadway buddies events are scheduled in groups and accompanied by a BBBS staffer.

At the end of six months, the volunteers are sincerely thanked and we hope they will either continue for another six months, or agree to a community-based mentoring relationship. For more information on how you can become a volunteer, please contact me.

Eric M.
Batsie National Director, Russian Federation
Big Brothers Big Sisters International
Tel: - (495) 937 5525 Cell: (916) 519 5854,,


Dear Sir,

Can I take this opportunity of congratulating you on a fine magazine. You do a remarkable job helping expats understand better the richness of Russian life, from emergency doctors in the rural areas to the wealth of the art scene here. I have read Passport now for several months and you never cease to delight me with a new facet of life here. Your travel articles are inspiring enough to prompt me to book a ticket as soon as I have put the magazine down. Thank you. You help make an expats life that much more tolerable here.

Good Luck
Simon Tregear

Editor: Thank you for these kind words


Dear Sir,

After reading this months review on the fish and chip situation, I just thought I would let you know about two other places with Fish and Chips: Silvers and The Manhattan Grill , which is now a firm favourite with half the expats in my office. I am told that the Fish and Chips in the Manhattan Grill are as good, if not better, than the average in England.

Andy Sherlock

Editor: Thanks for the tip Andy, we are off there hot-foot to sample for ourselves.

Dear Sir,

Wow! The article on Borovsk and the harking back to the Soviet era is surreal. They really have guys going around the town whitewashing Ovchinnikovs paintings of the priest Avvakum and Mayor Luzhkov and the Christ the Saviour Cathedral?

The Governor of Kaluga and his cohorts must be from another world, one where they dont understand communication and the internet which has taken the power to control information out of their hands. Keep up the good work of throwing a spotlight on these political dinosaurs!

Susan Pelger

Editor: Actually, the mayor of Borovsk says the painting over of Ovchinnikovs art is the work of vandals.

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