Miles Apart but Friends for Life

Miles Apart but Friends for Life

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”

– Douglas Pagels

Sponsoring a child is an amazing act of kindness. When you choose to give a small amount of money each month, not only do you change a child’s life for the better, but in that moment, a special connection begins to develop. A friendship that will last a lifetime starts to blossom. Bill and Anton* are such two friends. Bill lives in France and Anton lives at Orion in Russia, with his foster family.

Anton is a very cheerful and active 13-year-old, who loves to play games, sports and to help out with manual work, like cutting the grass, digging and building. He enjoys living at Orion with his family and has many friends. It means the world to Anton to have Bill in his life, and thinks it’s very important to have a friend who is interested in and supports him.
“I’m happy to have Bill as a sponsor. He’s a very interesting man. I love to spend time with him talking about Astronomy and other things. It’s very interesting to receive letters from him and I feel very happy when he sends me presents for my Birthday and Christmas.”

Bill has sponsored three children in Russia with Ecologia. He has found it to be a rewarding experience, and has loved to watch the children grow and develop friendships with them, “Sponsoring children at Kitezh and Orion has been extremely rewarding. You really see that your help is making a difference in the lives of young people.” He describes to us what it’s like to sponsor the children in our projects and become an important part of their lives, “I have sponsored two children from Kitezh and now Anton, from Orion. The first two have now found their feet and are establishing themselves in their careers. It has been a huge pleasure to watch these lads grow and to spend some time and converse with them when I come to Russia to work as a volunteer. Anton is still at school in Orion and has always made a huge impression on me: his personality is full of energy and enthusiasm, no half measures – whatever he does he just throws himself into it! I always enjoy seeing him as well as his lovely foster family and his equally energetic friends in Orion, who always seem to like a few impromptu lessons in astronomy. I love them all very much and look forward to seeing them again later this year.”

To anyone who is thinking of sponsoring a child, Anton would like to say, “I think it’s good to have a friend in a different country, especially if that someone really needs support and will really appreciate your help.”

Make your friend for life today – Sponsor a child

*Name of child has been changed in line with Ecologia Youth Trust’s Child Protection Policy.

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.