Nadia Ivanenko (8 years old), Sasha Petrov (12), and several dozen brothers and sisters at Orphanage No. 3 in St. Petersburg, Russia, are taking measures to carry their own weight. They're participating in an innovative program meant to encourage their artistic talents and give them a chance to support themselves--no small dream in the difficult reality of post-Soviet Russia.
The program, "A Hand Up," is a reaction against cuts in government funding for the orphanage and was designed by Golden Cockerel. Dedicated to helping Russians help themselves,
Golden Cockerel arranges for professional artists to teach the children the traditional Russian folk art of painting brooches. The brooches are then "sold" in America for modest donations to the program. All of the proceeds (100%) are split between the young artists and their orphanage, badly in need of repairs, bathroom renovations, etc.
Nadia, Sasha, and all the others say spasibo (thank you!) for your encouragement. Their brooches make unique gifts and are guaranteed to bring smiles across the miles.
Here are some samples of the orphan brooches. Please note that the children choose their own subjects and that every brooch is unique, no two being alike. Though we can accomodate general wishes (nature, flowers, etc.), please be prepared to be delightfully surprised by the art you receive, should you order.