Russians Visit Denton to Find Solutions
Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, GA)
Posted on July 31, 1999
By Charmain Z. Brackett
|Photo: Kathy Ringel (from left), rehabilitation coordinator at the Friendship Community Center, welcomes Tatyana Fabrichnaya and translator Nikolina Nekrashevitch to the ceramics studio at the center. Photo by Jonathan Ernst--Staff|
"We are here mainly to see how it works here and compare how it is with Russia and here," said Nikolina Nekrashevitch, interpreter for Tatyana Fabrichnaya, the head of the Novgorodskya Oblast Property Rights Registration Chamber in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia.
On Thursday, Mrs. Fabrich-naya and Ms. Nekrashevitch toured four United Way agencies -- Friendship Community Center, the Domestic Violence Intervention Center of the CSRA's shelter for battered women, Speech and Hearing Center and the American Red Cross -- to learn about nonprofit organizations and how they work to improve people's quality of life.
Mrs. Fabrichnaya is one of about 2,000 Russian officials who will visit the United States during July, August and September as part of the Library of Congress Open World Russian Leadership Program.
The $10-million program authorized by Congress shows Russian officials how democracy and civil society work, according to a news release from MIR Children's Foundation Inc., the organization which is playing host to Augusta's Russian visitors.
The goal of the program is to foster "professional and cultural contacts" in the United States, which will "lay the basis for a continuing dialogue and exploration of possible future international cooperation."
Ms. Nickrashevitch said that most Russian human service entities are supported through the government, but there are some private sector groups. "They don't really work. They are really struggling financially," she said.
The pair arrived in Augusta Tuesday and will return to Russia Aug. 6. During her visit, Mrs. Fabrichnaya will meet Augusta Mayor Bob Young and U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood.
She will visit the Augusta Richmond County Commission, the Columbia County Commission, and other government departments in Columbia County. She will tour the Savannah River Site and Augusta Technical Institute.
So far, the Russian guests said they have enjoyed their visit although they said they are not accustomed to the Georgia heat. "She likes everything," said Ms. Nekrashevitch. "We love our host family. We are thinking we are very lucky."
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[Reprinted with Permission]