The Findhorn Foundation, are excited to welcome the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community, Dmitry Morozov and two key members of the Russian foster family community to visit us here in Scotland in May.
There is a strong connection between the Findhorn Community and Kitezh through Ecologia Youth Trust. Liza Hollingshead, founder of Ecologia, which is based in the Findhorn community, shares the story…
Kitezh was founded in 1992, just thirty years after our own community. It is their 20th Anniversary this year. Dmitry Morozov was a radio journalist with a vision to create a new world and Perestroika was the perfect time to do it. He left a prestigious job in Moscow and moved to the countryside, sharing his vision and an invitation to join him with his listeners on Radio Mayak.
When I met Dmitry in 1993, he and his small group had built one house on a large piece of land, and they had started to take orphaned, abandoned children into their family. I remember him telling me that it is easier to change a child’s view of the world, than an adult’s. Little did they know what they were committing themselves to! It was not that simple.
Over the past 20 years, through the vehicle of Ecologia Youth Trust, I became more and more involved in supporting this extraordinary experiment. In 1996 we took a group of our Youth Project teenagers to Kitezh where they camped in a field and learned to eat buckwheat and dill! The following year Dmitry brought a small group of children, all orphans, to Findhorn and they visited other parts of Scotland as well. It was an eye opener for everyone!
We gradually started raising money to build more houses for families at Kitezh – at that time a little went a very long way. £2,000 built a whole house! We also took small groups of people from here to visit Kitezh, including Madge Bray, who introduced the whole concept of therapeutic work with children.
This led to a training programme paid for by a UK Know How fund that introduced top class British Social Workers and Educators to Kitezh including David Dean, then principal of Raddery School on the Black Isle. Play Therapy, Art Therapy and a therapeutic approach to healing early childhood trauma became an integral part of the work with children. And simultaneously, the adults became more aware of their own inner development process, encouraged by Dmitry whose apprenticeship with Svyatoslav Roerich in India had set him on a yogic path long before he founded Kitezh.
Over the years, almost all members of Kitezh Community have come to Findhorn – for Ecovillage Training, Experience Week and conferences. Many Findhorn Community members have also visited Kitezh. In 2009 fourteen Youth Project teenagers travelled to Kitezh and then raised the funds for the Kitezh teens to pay them a return visit, including a week on Erraid. So their participation in the Holistic Centres Gathering entitled the Network of Light is very appropriate. We have been building and strengthening this aspect of the Network of Light over the past 20 years, threads of energy passing back and forth between the two communities, giving and receiving.
In a rare opportunity to hear from the founder of Kitezh, Dmitry will give a talk in the Universal Hall, Findhorn Foundation, on 10th May at 7.30pm. He is joined by Max Anikeev, Director of Kitezh School and a masterful singer of soulful Russian songs, and Zhenya Ryazhskaya, who was here with the Youth Group, and is foster mother, teacher, theatre director among other things. They will also show a short video about the community to give a flavour of the place and the children, many of whom speak excellent English thanks to Andrew Aikman and our many volunteers who spend time there.
It promises to be a wonderful evening of inspiration, music and connection with the Network of Light.