One of the cutest local events, so-called “FreeMarket”, where people can leave unwanted things and pick up those they want absolutely free is happening on July 8 in the very center of the city, by the statue of the seal in front of the main library.
A good place to “meet the city” for anyone interested in the collective face of Kandalaksha.
“Bring what you don’t need (clothing, things, books) and take what you do need”
I’m happy to see that the “free market” tradition seems to have taken hold in Kandalaksha. See examples here and here. The next one is happening on September 1 beginning at 3pm by the fountain in the city center, and its focus is school-related items.
Once in a while I get a letter from those wishing to send a package of used clothing to Russia. Today, while reviewing local press, I discovered a new destination right here in Kandalaksha. It is the an organization somewhat awkwardly named “Kandalaksha Complex Center of Social Services to the Population”. At the moment they have a drive to collect toys and especially art or painting supplies for kids in their care. Anybody wishing to send things can do it to my address (ul. Kirovskaya 23 kv. 17, Murmansk oblast, Kandalaksha 184041, Russia), and I’ll personally deliver them either to the Center or to the final recipient. And, of course, I’ll get back to you with a detailed report.
Among other places in the Murmansk region the president of SOS Children’s Villages Siddhartha Kaul visited the SOS Village in Kandalaksha during his recent (May 22-24) trip to the area. The visit is in the honour of the 20-year anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages in Russia. The SOS Village is part of Kandalaksha’s definition, I guess..
Here is an episode covering the visit from TNT Kandalaksha TV (in Russian):
One of three (a huge number for a town of 40 thousand) Protestant congregations. The other two are Baptists and Lutherans, and all three are on very friendly terms. The church was established in 2002/2003 after a visit by a group of American missionaries. Part of the Blagovest (Good News) Association of Evangelical Churches based in Moscow. The congregation has 30 members. Active in social and charity work, and in particular providing food and clothing to the homeless, which are by some reason plenty in Kandalaksha. The address is Ulitsa Lokomotivnaya 2.
There is said to be a church-backed alcohol and drug rehabilitation project based at the village of Zelenoborsky near Kandalaksha. As of the moment I have no details.
..Just heard a rumor that it is supported by Pentecostal, Baptists and other “foreign agents” (“foreign agent” is a legal term here; any NGO that receives funding from abroad has to be registered as “foreign agent” and is likely to find itself in course, see eg. Human Right Watch).
DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE IS NOT TO BE TAKEN AS A POLITICAL STATEMENT. I HEREBY DECLARE MY LOYALTY TO THE REGIME AND READINESS TO KISS PU’S ASS RATHER THAN GOING TO PRISON.
A protestant group seems to be actively looking after the needy and homeless. On their request I’m not saying who they are but if needed I’ll put you in touch. What are they afraid of? My impression is they are allowed to operate as long as they stay low. Anyway, they appear to be one of the centers of charity here. Only they responded to our question of what to do with several bags of good clothing.
www.murmansk-hilfe.org is a German volunteer group active in the Kola peninsula area. In Kandalaksha they are repairing or about to start repairing the local hospital, and somewhere in the area (I don’t know the exact location) they are building a hospice.