“Roma called 40 times a day and calls me “dad”” – how to become another teen from the orphanage

Two years ago Maxim Guzanov worked in the tax office and knew almost nothing about philanthropy is only about foundations fraudsters. Now he is developing a vocational guidance program in the Fund of assistance to children-orphans “Arithmetic good”, and it also helps to grow the “difficult” teenager Roma Maxim his mentor. Together they go to the circle of handlers, read the encyclopedia about insects and learn the etiquette.

Roma and Maxim. Photo: Anna Borodina

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In the orphanage Roma complained even the guards

Sunday November morning Maxim and Roma circling at the bus stop waiting for the bus that would take them to the dog show. It was freezing and almost deserted, Roma took Maxim by the hand as a child dad – it’s warmer, and it seems that you sure need a man around. Max knew that the children from the orphanage is not enough tactile contact with relatives, so only tightened his hand. And suddenly, they were approached by a man of about 18.

Photo: Anna Borodina

– Began to taunt and threaten, called them, said we were… homosexual. It is, of course, differently expressed, culturally I’m trying to describe. You know the type guy from the region – says Maxim. – I made the rum for a spin – you never know, went on to explain that I am a caregiver, that Roma from the orphanage. But as you can guess, with such people it is useless. And I rum be held criminally responsible.

Then Maxim became hard – this tone he often needed on previous work in the tax office – but the phrase “You wanna talk?” drove the bus. In the path of the Maxim tells Roma that this case is an example that not all conflicts need to be solved with fists and insults, how often did Roma. In the orphanage he was known as a major badass, and he complained even the guards.

Photo: Anna Borodina

On interrogations Maxim did not take – she said “too good”

Negotiating skills seem to have a 25-year-old Maxim – an innate quality. It has saved it at work: Maxim worked for two years in the tax office, called the people and asked to provide documents, and in that time nobody threatened him with a court that is considered a good indicator.

Only on questioning did not take it – colleagues said that the Maxim “too good” and “not be afraid”. And Maxim was proud of the fact that many found human language. “I do not deny that the tax is people distinctive. There are those who only puts ultimatums: “Well-ka quickly provided me the documents for 20 minutes.” They have power, they are proud of their identity and believe that they all have to. But not all are,” he says.

Photo: Anna Borodina

In General, Maxim is always interested in psychology, but chose a tax case – was first attracted by “form”, then the opportunity to help people, and after 35 years, wanted to do business, so I thought to learn how to pay taxes “to be fair”. And all has developed steadily, and to diversify your life, to finally find a use for his hobby is psychology and maybe in his spare time to still be useful, began to look for opportunities for social volunteering.

This philanthropic Maxim, faced on one side only – studied schemes of transfer of money.

Eventually settled on “Arithmetic good” – children from children’s homes definitely need help (younger brothers and sisters he hadn’t got, but it did not bother him), convenient schedule – you can go on a weekend. Month thought and in late January came to the first class.

Photo: Anna Borodina

“Apparently, Roma I immediately liked”

Every two weeks, on Sundays, the pupils Filevskaya orphanage for children with special needs came to the office of the Fund: there are psychologists carried out for them trainings on communication. This time it was a class on ways of dealing with aggression.

– The head of the volunteer program I was warned that the group is very difficult and almost uncontrollable Roma children, and offered to try to talk to him. I will not hide that I was very worried. To children correction we are either with fear or with some disdain. I about them only read in articles and books, says Maxim.

Photo: Anna Borodina

Rum he recognized immediately: a teenager in a black hoodie with the hood within five minutes after the beginning of class became angry and hit the other children. Maxim sat down to the rum and began to improvise with the questions.

Roma, like all such children who at first behaved aggressively, incredulously. In children’s homes often come different large organizations, people are constantly changing, and the child begins to perceive them as such animators: came some rich men brought presents, held a concert and left. And they need attention and care.

Maxim asked Roma about everything, and in response heard, “yeah”, “I don’t know”, “I like.” So Maxim realized that as Roma are interested in insects, railway and dogs – at least some clue. What happened next can be called a miracle: Roma invited Maxim for a visit and asked me to walk to the subway. Near the entrance to the station suddenly stretched torn the lining from the jacket and candy, which children were treated in the Fund.

Photo: Anna Borodina

Surprised by such a gift, Maxime got into his car and realized that next Sunday he’ll be back. Some volunteers left in tears.

They came happy and cheerful with the idea of “now we save the world and children”, but most likely, overestimated himself.

Here you need to be mentally stable and be prepared not to get something from the kids and to give himself as a good actor.

But I guess that’s stress in itself and two years of tax impact – ironically Maxim and adds: – Children from the orphanage are accustomed rather to receive than to give. But apparently I rum immediately liked.

Photo: Anna Borodina

Close very happy, and friends are surprised

So “taxman” Maxim began a volunteer life. Next month, it will help psychologists at the Sunday sessions, a few times going with the kids on the “social test” – the so-called campaigns of the volunteer two or three guys in public places, for example in shops. The goal is to learn to make their own decisions and make rational food basket. Let’s say there are 500 roubles and it is necessary to buy the things needed for the dinner food, not just chips and soda, as they often do guys.

Photo: Anna Borodina

Then Maxim could not assume that after six months he offered to become Manager of a Fund programme, “Compass” – to organize social and psychological trainings, and vocational trips for the children. The next three months he will live with the feeling of stepping into the abyss: thought – not serious, no education, but airbag was the family.

– Friends know I like psychology, I went to work somewhere, what with taxes a little bit is not set. And they are very happy that now everything works and there is no ceiling for development, – smushchenno smiles Maxim. – Friends, Yes, surprised.

Children, psychology, correction, children’s home – for many, this word is taboo. And when they say, “Oh, you are a hero, you’re doing great things.” But I would not throw around such big words.

After these changes – the departure from the public service in the nonprofit sector – on the new offer to become a mentor for the Roma-bullies Maxim not even thought of. “No problem”, he said.

Photo: Anna Borodina

Called 40 times a day and called “dad”

Mentor for a child from the orphanage is such an assistant in all worldly matters, someone middle between a teacher, a friend and a relative who will be able to prepare him for adult life. This man is a volunteer who deals with the child in his spare time, not only remotely, but not less than twice a month offline. Most often, mentors become adults, after 35 years. And for many, mentoring is a kind of training before the adoption of a child. In practice the Fund has such history.

Maxim though, and was a volunteer with the experience, besides the Manager of the relevant program and knew Roma did talk to the psychologist, as it is better to deal with a hyperactive teenager who met with a tutor in an orphanage. Roma said, “Now, I’ll be around to help, don’t hesitate to ask,” but usually the guys I know who are mentors, and are waiting for them.

Photo: Anna Borodina

– The main thing – to understand what you get in a person’s life-a child with lots of problems – it is impossible to throw if already started. With the child it is necessary to communicate at least a year, says Maxim.

The first two weeks of Rum called my mentor for 40 times a day and called him “dad”. Diplomatic skills again helped Maxim:

– Of course, explained to him: “Well, I’m not your dad, Rum?” Need some kind of framework to put it, because these children are often no boundaries in communication, and they can go up to a stranger and hug it. This is wrong. We still teach children to be productive members of society. And about the calls… I was at work, explained that I’m busy, at work, at lunch, will call you back. Tried to develop in terms of etiquette.

Photo: Anna Borodina

In September, Maxim with Roma decided to enroll at the local art house, stopped at the club for young dog handlers. On Wednesday I went to class, on Sundays, walked in parks, went to the zoo and exhibition animals. In bad weather sat in the orphanage and read encyclopedia of insects. One day in the spring of Rum caught bumblebee in a small paper box, called Maxim and applied it to this box the phone: “Max, look.”

Photo: Anna Borodina

When the other kids came up to Maxim for advice or just to talk, Roma was jealous and called them a Maxim taught of tolerance: “You what, sorry? Let them also help.” Sometimes arranged trainings on financial literacy – the store gave a hundred rubles, and watched how and what Roma will to spend it. Helped with study – ROMs are folded over with the score and grammar. And periodically repeated: “do not swear”, “don’t spit”, “zip it up”.

One of our goals is to show these children the world of professions, – says Maxim. – Yes, almost all of them with big problems in school, often because of its features, but that doesn’t mean you have to put them on the cross. And we try to explain that, Yes, it turned out that some of the profession fail to develop, but this does not mean that you are worse. If the child wants to become an actor, but his condition is not allow, we try to explain that you will be able to work in the theater, but to do other, equally important things, for example, work in the canteen or helping on the stage. With Roma we are now thinking about the profession of landscaping, it includes all of his interests – nature, animals, insects – is not an option?

Photo: Anna Borodina

Almost stopped fighting and began to help the younger

One day, Maxim and Roma had an argument. The reason is the iPhone that Roma had asked him to give.

– They say that is a precious gift, can not afford, and Roma pouted. I went on to explain that it is not necessarily need iPhone, most phones now have a good camera and lots of options. “You’ve got money saved, let me help you to choose a lower cost”, says Maxim. One of our goals is to explain that not everything has to be overpay. Many children from the orphanage being on brand, some children have 2-3 mobile phones, for them it is a toy. Child can to break it, and then come company and he asked to buy a new one. And of course, buy. Occurs disregard technology, and people.

And then, many pupils think they should. But it does not happen that you get out of the house and you will provide. This is adult life where just nothing happens.

At the end of may Maxim once again came to the orphanage. Ahead of summer vacation, while the guys, including the Roma, are usually off to camp. Mentoring is not over – it is difficult to name a specific date, but after nine months of communication time to see the results.

Photo: Anna Borodina


The phrase “Almost ceased to fight,” “I Began to help the younger”, “was sharing food” seem implausible – how can you improve human behavior in all that time? But Maxim had convinced the guard: once the Roma gave him candy. Himself Maxim noticed that this teenager has become more comprehensive. Sometimes Roma even told him about his parents, but these revelations Maxim keeps secret. But the story and the diagnosis is Roma, he do not know himself – the children’s home does not give personal information about pupils.

Photo: Anna Borodina

The apartment is easily denied, and no attention and love from your family

Mentoring – this is volunteer work. The idea of paying Maxim is clearly in the negative and explains, “Otherwise it would have gone a lot of people who are eager to make money, not everyone would be genuinely interested to help, and it would have affected the quality of communication”. He promotes the idea of tutoring in orphanages – may there are specialists who will preferentiality children and prepare them for life outside these walls.

In April, the Fund has submitted a draft professional standard “specialist in the field of family education” in the Public chamber. But the system is not ready to change so fast, so long as hope volunteers.

Many even envy the orphans, because after 18 years they are entitled to the apartment, but we know what they can use without the knowledge of the different rules, without an understanding of how society works and the different institutions – it is clear that the idea of Maksim is trying to convey to many.

And things that for us are natural, they may not know so often be a victim of fraud. And this apartment can just as easily lose as they got. And because they have not been the most important – attention and love from your family.

Photo: Anna Borodina

The question of “will in the future become a foster father?” Maxim hears often, but the answer clearly isn’t ready. But I’m sure that can be a mentor to another child, even when he will have his own family. And while he’s waiting for Roma from the camp and plans in September to go to his school, to see what does not work at Roma, where the teacher does not want to tell. Maxim went to school – enrolled in a master’s degree in psychology.

Another question – burnout from working and volunteering yet bypasses the Maxim party. There are friends with whom you can go at least in Tula, at least in Arkhangelsk oblast. There are football, books on psychology, and colleagues who will support you.

His story is exemplary and even perfect. Maxim found favorite thing is to help children from orphanages to grow up and tell them what the world beyond the walls of the orphanage – diverse, it is important to understand its laws, and certainly there is someone who will not leave. But so smooth is not at all. Some teachers, despite interviews with psychologists of the Fund, you know, “not mine” or “too early”.

Photo: Anna Borodina

– I really want to help them, and in particular Roma, to be held in life. And I’m glad for the summer months, we with Roma almost no contact from the orphanage and no one called – jokes Maxim. – So, Roma are still in the camp and well-behaved. I hope my achievement in this.

Photo: Anna Borodina

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