Whom we seek

Photo of volunteers and orphanage children

At the 12th annual Belskoye-Ustye Summer Camp

Most of the people involved with ROOF are volunteers. Those who are paid staff mostly began as volunteers and are paid very minimal salaries. We do not have a slick, systematized arrangement for recruiting and managing volunteers. But if you are ready for a challenge, ready to make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in, ready to make the best effort you can to get on with people you may not naturally choose to live with or spend time with, ready to look for the good in people even when they show you the bad… then get in touch with us and ask if there is anything you can do.

And one other thing: come to us for your own enrichment rather than to save anyone else. When our volunteers take joy in those around them, they give the gift of themselves.

One of our repeat volunteers wrote this after his first time…

What was my Russian experience like? I encountered Russian bureaucracy and managed not to loose my mind, which was hard. I killed thousands of mosquitoes and horseflies but I think they won anyway. I spent a month in one of the most beautiful countrysides I’ve ever seen, I went swimming with cows, I climbed roof of a church, I spent a day with Russian priests drinking vodka and feasting on their delicious food, I met wonderful and inspiring people from all over the world and I improved my Russian a lot.

Many people might find working in the ROOF summer camp hard and hard it is. The job we were given took a lot from all of us. It’s a job you need to put whole of yourself to do it well, because if you don’t it’s not satisfying either for you or for the children and giving yourself is one of the hardest things. But the point is  that the more you give the more you get because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how tired and mosquito bitten you are, you know that you have done something really good for someone else.