The “Kids are Kids” Integration Centre serves about 80 refugee and migrant children, who have arrived from a variety of places including Africa and the Middle East. The Centre helps the children integrate into Russian life. It runs activities for preschoolers, classes in Russian for school students, and a full teaching curriculum for children who are excluded from state education because their parents have no Moscow registration.
The teaching is supplemented by a regular programme of cultural visits to parks, exhibitions, museums etc., made possible by a variety of friendly organisations who make their premises available for these activities. And more than 100 Moscow school students take part in integrational events, learning more about refugee children and their problems, which will potentially lead to their involvement in the integrational process.
The way the children are taught takes into consideration the different needs and abilities of this diverse group. There is a tailored programme for children who have not attended school. This is a group of about 15 students who study for 4 hours 3 times a week. Then there are preschool classes which are divided into 2 programmes for 30 children in total – 3 hours twice a week. More than 50 children have individual tutoring as they may attend other schools in Moscow but face various difficulties. These are run over 4 hours 3 times a week.
These programmes are delivered by about 70 volunteer teachers and other helpers. There are a small number of paid staff who receive a modest stipend: an administrator, several programme coordinators, and a psychologist and social worker. Friends House Moscow helps to fund these staff and other expenses such as meals for the children.