Liza Hollingshead, a resident at Findhorn since 1974 and inspired director of the Ecologia Trust, has just come back from 5 whirlwind weeks in Russia. It is now almost 18 months since the Community Fund (formerly the National Lottery Charities Board) accepted Ecologia’s funding application and gave £140,784 over two years to its cause, the promotion of creative change in Russia in the fields of sustainable community development, youth welfare and ecological education.
This creative change is focused on the development of the beautiful village of Kitezh, 300 kms south of Moscow, “an oasis of love, harmony and cooperation, where orphan children are given a sense of belonging to a family and a community, and a good education to prepare them to become valuable citizens of a new, democratic Russia”.
There are now 11 families and 45 children happily living in Kitezh and Liza has been busy setting up the Kitezh Centre in Moscow to raise public awareness of the unique work that is being done there, to attract funds from within Russia to support it and to eventually become a Family Counselling Centre for all who need it.
There is now a wonderful new guest house in Kitezh with four double bedrooms to house volunteers, guests and foreign godparents who have ‘adopted’ a child, who come to take part in rural community life, teach the children English and immerse themselves in Russian culture. It is this cross-cultural enrichment and understanding which Liza sees as fundamental to the creation of a united loving world where people nourish their whole spiritual being through their relationship with family, community and the land.
When Liza returned to the Findhorn Foundation in early April she was bubbling over with the thrill of seeing Kitezh thriving as a joyful experiment in holistic living. For her, the most exciting part of her latest visit was that the whole community played the group version of The Transformation Game which has been an integral part of life in Kitezh since 1989. The outcome was that all four teams that played together completed the spiritual level, superb universal feedback that all is very, very well in Kitezh.
One day, in the not-too-distant future, foster family villages based on the Kitezh model will replace all institutionalized orphanages in Russia. The ultimate dream is to provide loving, secure homes for ALL children.
If you are interested in knowing more about Ecologia Trust or Kitezh or are interested in the ‘Adopt a God Child’ initiative, please visit the websites below.