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Russia: Smolensk village bands together to adopt dozens of orphans after threat of school closure04:21

Russia: Smolensk village bands together to adopt dozens of orphans after threat of school closure

Russian Federation, Shapy, Smolensk region
February 22, 2019 at 12:17 GMT +00:00 · Published

With dwindling numbers of students and faced with closure, one remote Smolensk school became the unlikely catalyst for the rebirth of an entire village.

The village of Shapy is located 100 kilometres from Smolensk, near the Belarusian border. It was formed around sawmill, but when it closed following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Shapy’s population began to decline, until, in 2006, the local school had only 12 students. With no gas, internet, running water or landline, the future of the village looked bleak. That is until a group of teachers came up with a selfless plan. Three teachers went to a local orphanage and adopted five children.

“She took two girls, I took Nikita, and Elena adopted a girl and a boy too,” Shapy school teacher Valentina Platonova said.

“People saw we had children from an orphanage. They were a bit wary with their own stereotypes and preconceptions about their family background. But once they saw that these were just normal children, really good children, they started taking them too,” Platonova said.

Since 2006, the locals have adopted 70 children, and the village’s population has risen to 150. Fourty-eight of the kids still live in the village, while others have left to study in colleges and universities in bigger cities.

Russia: Smolensk village bands together to adopt dozens of orphans after threat of school closure04:21
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With dwindling numbers of students and faced with closure, one remote Smolensk school became the unlikely catalyst for the rebirth of an entire village.

The village of Shapy is located 100 kilometres from Smolensk, near the Belarusian border. It was formed around sawmill, but when it closed following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Shapy’s population began to decline, until, in 2006, the local school had only 12 students. With no gas, internet, running water or landline, the future of the village looked bleak. That is until a group of teachers came up with a selfless plan. Three teachers went to a local orphanage and adopted five children.

“She took two girls, I took Nikita, and Elena adopted a girl and a boy too,” Shapy school teacher Valentina Platonova said.

“People saw we had children from an orphanage. They were a bit wary with their own stereotypes and preconceptions about their family background. But once they saw that these were just normal children, really good children, they started taking them too,” Platonova said.

Since 2006, the locals have adopted 70 children, and the village’s population has risen to 150. Fourty-eight of the kids still live in the village, while others have left to study in colleges and universities in bigger cities.