This section highlights some of NEK’s charity activities, people whom we’re trying to help, and charity projects we’re involved in.
Certainly, the ultimate goals of any commercial company are success and profit. Yet materials gains become worthless if business neglects humanitarian values. That’s why we strive to do all we can to help those in need.
Over the years our Company has established itself as a charity-aware organization; NEK traditionally provides help in such areas as:
- Help for children.
- Culture and education programs.
- Protection of historical and cultural monuments.
Health programs for children
Kids believe in miracles. They believe in Santa Klaus, in wizards and fairies, in funny gnomes. Kids believe that good always conquers evil, and that any tale has a happy ending. They believe that even when things turn really-really bad someone big and strong will interfere and will put things right.
We grownups can make such miracles happen. It’s simple: we only need to give children what they need most – love and protection.
Helping kids with eyesight problems
NEK Company participates in a joint UN/UNESCO program ‘Give each blind child a book’. The program helps to involve children with impaired eyesight into the system cultural values and expand their capacity to adapt and live a full life.
Unique convex books are created in close cooperation with prominent psychiatrists and best illustrators.
The program teaches children love for reading and desire to learn. Besides illustrated books support them emotionally and motivate them join other children in common games. Thanks to the program the world becomes brighter and happier in the eyes of a blind child.
“Rodnichok” (springlet) orphanage. Our little friends.
On the bank of the Volga river, in the Tver region, there is an ancient beautiful town of Kalyazin.
It’s not big but notable. With its own history, culture and traditions.
In this town, on a small riverside Cheluskintsev street, there is the “Rodnichok” orphanage.
In “Rodnichok” family groups upbringing is in practice. 15 children between the ages of 3 to 18 years reside in isolated houses. Brothers and sisters reside together. Child minders work by 24 hours as in own family, get children to bed and wake them up. It helps to understand each child better. Child minders note that sense of responsibility for each other is formed among the children; they understood that the elder is responsible for the younger. According to teachers' mind the main thing is to arrange children daily routine properly and to direct their energy in the right direction. Boys and girls from “Rodnichok” have difficult childhood due to problems in their families. Probably in the orphanage talents will be opened and vocations will be determined.
In Kalyazin orphanage they try to develop children’s talents. If you like to draw – do it, like to knit, make something needful – you’re welcome, all wishes are supported.
Our participation in orphans’ life is very important. Help in gaining life experience means giving children possibility to see more of the world, to touch it.
Is it possible to help them? Possible and necessary! Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult but this friendship is most required for them, friendship with those who really wants and can help.
How? Communication. Serious, with an eye to the future. To amuse them with rare presents is not enough. It’s necessary to visit them, to communicate and help to believe in future. They are open for all who is sincerely kind to them.
Fun as well as work brings us together. Not accidentally we planned to work during our first big visit, to repair children's rooms. Then was the main thing that we became friends. Children remembered us, assessed and meet with pleasure now. And we are thankful for this friendship and trusting.
Life was hard to the kids to deprive them of parents.
But they must live having good and reliable friends. With our help.
Restoration of architectural and historic monuments
One of charity venues NEK is involved in is restoration of architectural and historic monuments. Sadly, there were periods in the history of our country when numerous objects of our cultural heritage had been irrevocably lost or badly damaged. Our duty today is to do our best to restore and protect those of them that still can be saved.
The story of St. Nicholas Church in Ozeretskoye village is a typical one, same happened to thousands of Russian churches. Built on stiffly earned parish donations it underwent heavy trials in the XXth century — desecrated shrines, total devastation, and slow decay.
Worships renewed in 90s, after decades of oblivion. Today the church is being renovated. Thanks to the effort of many people this architectural monument will be restored to the village of Ozeretskoye, where believers will feel closer to God once the temple raises from ashes, and that’s the main thing.
Restoration of St. Nicholas Church in Ozeretskoye Village, Sergiev-Posadsky District of Moskovskaya Region
Ozeretskoye Village is situated about halfway from Dmitrov to Sergiev-Posad. St. Nicholas Church is built on a high hill overlooking a valley with a deep lake, not far from river Vori’s spring.
The ancient settlement was situated at the crossroads made by two major roads: east to west thoroughfare Dmitrov – Khotkovo and north to south road Moscow – Kimry. Even today one can see here remaining cobblestones overgrown with weeds. Elder people remember a big wooden house — roadside inn.
The church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker was built in 1811 on parish money, obviously by a gifted architect. The architectural style of the temple is late classicism.
Domed rotunda, the temple’s pinnacle, is topped by a small head a cross on a white stone profiled drum. Facades are emphasized by half-column porticoes of Toscana order, repeated in the first tier of three-tier bell-tower also topped with a head and cross.
In the 30s of the XXth century the church lost its ornamentation, domes with crosses, bells, and interior decorations. It was turned into a grain storehouse. Interior started to decay slowly: wall paintings peeled, stucco fell off, icon stand was demolished, chimneys clogged, roof cracked.
The church stood abandoned till the first half of the 90s when, upon villagers’ desire, it was permitted to start services there. Through the weeds, through the rusty yet still intact forged doors people entered the church for the first service. Restoration works had started, new roof was made, windows repaired.
NEK got actively involved supporting restoration works on St. Nicholas Church. By the day when believers celebrated the day of the church’s patron saint, Nicholas the Miracle Worker, on December,19, 2002 reconstruction of the church building and the bell tower had been completed; original small heads with crosses had been restored thanks to the project of restorer Elena Vladimirovna Trubetskaya*. Two masters, Alexander and Dmitry Artemyev, had rebuilt the domes with their benign and knowing hands. Professor of architecture L. A. Shitova provided invaluable consulting help on recipes for coating, painting, and imitation of the lost white stone fragments.
* Draft restoration project for St. Nicholas Church in Ozeretskoye Village, S-P District, Moscow Oblast. Prepared by architect E. V. Trubetskaya with the assistance of TOO «NPP Restoration Center», approved on Sep. 17, 1997. Reg. num. № 877–97, Moscow, 1997.
Charity Fund 'Author’s Song Archive Service'
History and culture
Author’s song plays an immense role in protecting and transmitting historical and cultural knowledge. Heir to the Russian folk songs, gypsy and town romances, the author’s song reflects history of the Russian people, its spiritual seeking in time.
First social and cultural activity related to author’s song surfaced in early 1950s. By mid-century it became possible to record songs on home tape-recorders, and so called ‘magnet-publishing’ whose impact was invaluable started to spread. Audio records of Vysotsky, Okudzhva, Galitch, Vizbor, Ancharov, and others started to appear. Vladimir Vysotsky said at one of his concerts: ‘…if there were tape-recorders in Pushkin times, many of his works would have come down to us as recordings only’. The advent of tape-recorders not only increased songs’ lifespan, but also helped their unbelievable spreading free of Soviet censorship.
Author’s song heyday falls in the period between 1960s and 1980s. One may call this period a «mass movement of author’s song». By mid 1970s the movement consisted of more than 200 thousand active members all over the country, by the end of 1980s – over 500 thousand (organizing committee of the festival named after V. Grushin near Samara reported about 165 thousand attendees in 1988).
It’s extremely important to note that the movement was not limited to song-writing and performances, not even to songs distribution on audio tapes. It was one of the few manifestations of mass social activity within which other cultural initiatives were born: clubs, regular meetings, festivals, seminars, conferences, systematic literature and audio sharing.
As the movement grew tape records multiplied also that mostly formed private collections. Apart from ‘magnet-publishing’ the movement produced galore of other documents: typed and hand-written publications, symbols and accessories, photo, and video by late 80s. Private hands also preserved these collectibles.
Numerous collections exist today in our country and all over the world that preserve historic and cultural heritage of the author's song movement.
About Archive Service
Historic and cultural knowledge of the author's song movement lives on but access to it is cumbersome if possible at all. Besides existing collections are extremely short-lived and might disappear any time leaving no trace.
'Author’s Song Archive Service' charity fund (ASAS) is earnestly concerned with this problem. Its main goals are:
Collection and categorization of the author's song movement documents;
Creation and support of depositories for archives of songs and poetry;
Setting up of an audio and video studio for the author's song and poetry;
Providing access to preserved materials;
Search for, restoration and retention of archives and collections of author's songs and poetry of the ХXth and ХХIst centuries.
Earnest attempts to preserve this heritage have been made since 1980s. To name a few: D. P. Sokolov's publication of the 'Events And Documents' bulletin dedicated to the history of the author's song; author's song bibliographic reference composed by R. A. Shipov; 'Computer Archive of the author's song' project; a project for physical storing restoring of audio records, transferring them to a more reliable media. Besides, similar projects have been undertaken by several author's song centers (Vysotsky Museum, Moscow Center of Author's Creativity, similar regional centers in Saint-Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, etc.).
In 1995 a group of like-minded friends starts a new approach to creation of author's song archives. Thus the 'Computer Archive of the author's song' project comes into being. Leading members of the project are provided with computers. A qualitative break-through occurs thanks to the Internet communication between the archivists. Opportunity to store archives electronically appears.
A grant under the title 'Consolidated inventory of author's songs collections of 1950s—1990s' received from the Soros Foundation's 'Open Society Institute' in 2000 allowed to summarize five years of the archivists labor, evaluate the movements archive volumes, plan the project's future development.
A great number of private collections that required immediate restoration had been discovered. Intense salvation works had started. That's when the term 'AS Archive Service' came into being. ASAS movement gathers momentum acquiring a scale of a non-governmental organization.
Currently the archive totals dozens of thousands of audio and video records, photos, and other memorabilia of the author's song movement.
In September of NEK had founded the 'Author’s Song Archive Service' Charity Fund.
A new phase in conservation of the national heritage had begun.