Swedish Queen Silvia will pay unofficial visit to St. Petersburg

The Queen of Sweden, Silvia, will pay an unofficial visit to St. Petersburg in October 10-11.

The Queen's visit is organized in the framework of the World Childhood Foundation, which she founded in 1999 and has honorably chaired.

The program of the visit mainly includes meetings with organizations helping homeless children, orphans and children from unfortunate families.

During her short visit to St. Petersburg Queen Silvia intends to visit children's hospital 15, treating homeless children, as well as to discuss the current projects, supported by the foundation, explained Secretary General of the World Childhood Foundation Gunilla von Arbin.

The Queen paid her last similar visit to St. Petersburg two years ago. This year Queen Silvia's delegation is quite numerous - about 60 members. It includes the foundation representatives from the USA, Germany and Brazil.

The Foundation founded by Queen Silvia is supporting around nine different projects, initiated in St. Petersburg by non-governmental organizations. For example, the foundation supports the opening of a legal center for children and parents, conducting of seminars for psychologists, social workers. The foundation pays special attention to the abused children.

According to the Russian statistics, one third of little children, born in Russia in 2001, were born by unmarried young women. The mothers of over 40 per cent of just-born children are under 21. That is why the World Childhood Foundation participates in the programs designed to provide psychological help to young unmarried mothers, especially those brought up in orphanages. In Moscow, for example, since summer this help has been provided to the "Grandmother's team" program, where 30 pensioners help 150 young mothers with advice, while in St. Petersburg the foundation's partner is the Yanush Korchak Center named after the Polish doctor, writer and teacher.

The World Childhood Foundation supports a lot of programs in Germany, South Africa, the USA, Thailand, Moldavia and Ukraine. Now the Foundation is working most intensively in Brazil, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.