|© UNICEF Russia/2008|
|Orlando Bloom stopped in for a visit with the children at the Krasnoselsky social shelter in Moscow.|
MOSCOW, Russian Federation, 24 November 2008 – The children at the Krasnoselsky social shelter in Moscow could not believe their eyes when Orlando Bloom, an enthusiastic supporter of UNICEF programmes, stopped in for a visit recently. This was his first visit to Russia.
The children were all very excited at the chance to talk to their hero. They asked him when he started acting, what kind of music he listens to and whether or not he likes Russian cuisine.
“I love the openness and honesty of children,” Mr. Bloom said, as he answered all of the children’s questions.
Crucial care for children
The children in the shelter are from vulnerable families who are unable to provide for them due to economic and social pressures. Many have been neglected or forced to survive on their own in the streets, exposing them to all sorts physical and psychological traumas.
UNICEF supports a number of institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg that offer rehabilitation and support to such children.
“I was very impressed with my visit to the UNICEF-supported shelter,” said Mr. Bloom. “I wanted to understand for myself some of the crucial work being done for those children who really need help. Every child has the right to food and to live in a family environment. I was amazed by the strength and courage of the children and how the centre was trying to enable the children to return to their original families.”
|© UNICEF Russia/2008|
|Orlando Bloom sampled some local sweets while having tea with the children at the shelter.|
A higher priority
UNICEF also works at the regional and national levels to promote social programmes that provide intervention, support and reintegration services.
UNICEF’s Representative in Russia, Bertrand Bainvel, stressed the importance of such services and shelters. He explained that they offer immediate care to children found in extremely hazardous and difficult situations, and help them to recover and reintegrate into society.
“UNICEF is pleased to see that in Russia, much more priority is now being placed on minimizing these situations in the first place either by supporting vulnerable families or developing alternative family based care when it is not in the best interest of the child to grow up in its biological family,” said Mr. Bainvel.
‘Methods to solve problems’
By working with UNICEF, Mr. Bloom has already begun to bring attention to children’s problems in many countries, from providing clean drinking water in Nepal to the situation of children in Sarajevo.
“I like the fact that UNICEF does not simply provide people with the humanitarian aid, but also elaborates on methods and tools to solve problems and improve the life of children and women,” said Mr. Bloom.