Society 19 August 2013 10 169
Vyacheslav Gorelov, or “Uncle Slava”, as his foster-sons call him, seems no more than a kind-hearted and strong-willed man from Perm, in the Russian countryside. Few suspect that, behind his friendly smile hides a long touching history full of courage and humanity. For many years now, Uncle Slava has taken under his wing young boys who were abandoned by their parents and frequently convicted of theft or assault. They grew up in orphanages and never knew the security of their own home. They joined local street gangs and had barely a chance of living a normal life.
One day though, “Uncle Slava” took charge of the orphans and together they started his “Farmer school” from scratch. It’s a non-governmental organization created to provide moral, material and social help as well as professional guidance to teens and other orphans who had been led astray.
Vyacheslav takes the place of the boys’ parents and teaches them how to run a house, grow crops, breed cattle and chop firewood. He has become their friend and mentor. The youngsters fear most to disappoint him and return back to street crimes.
When he became the orphans’s surrogate father, giving them all his love and attention, Vyacheslav lost his own family, his biological children found it hard to appreciate his efforts, unlike his grateful wards whose lives have been harsh.
A heartrending story of inspiration about the example of one ordinary man, who restores the souls of young hooligans with care and love. RT Doc’s unique story of the extraordinary people who live all around us.