18/08/2004 - On 15 August, a suburb of the Russian town of Kandalaksha saw the official opening of Russia's fourth SOS Children's Village. The celebrations were attended by numerous guests from home and abroad. Princess Märtha Louise of Norway was there in person to open the village.
On 15 August, Russia's fourth SOS Children's Village was opened in the Luvena suburb of Kandalaksha, a town around 250 km south of Murmansk. The ceremony was attended by numerous guests from both home and abroad.
Among those taking part was a large delegation from Norway; the new project in Kandalaksha could be made a reality mainly thanks to Norwegian donations. For example, thousands of children at Norwegian schools had collected money for the new Russian SOS Children's Village. They were represented by two pupils from a school in Harstad, a harbour town in north Norway, who were present at the ceremony and presented a gift to the children of SOS Children's Village Kandalaksha.
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, who has repeatedly shown her commitment to SOS Children's Villages, was their in person to officially open the village. "I'm confident that peace and friendship between our two nations will continue to prosper and flourish," Princess Märtha Louise said in her speech. "And we should keep in mind that peace starts with the children. If we give our children love and care, there is a much greater chance that they will become tolerant, peace-loving members of society. This is the long-term objective of SOS Children's Villages, and I wish SOS Russia, the mothers and the children all the best here in Kandalaksha," the Princess finished. On the day before the opening, there was a seminar about the situation of children in Russia.
The SOS Children's Village in Kandalaksha has 12 family houses offering a new home to up to 90 children. The village is very well integrated in the community and the children attend the public schools and kindergartens nearby. It lies directly on the White Sea, at the south of the Kola Peninsula. Apart from Kandalaksha, there are three further SOS Children's Villages in Russia: Tomolino near Moscow, Orjol and Pushkin, near St. Petersburg.