I was born in 1956 into a military family in the city of Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky in the far east of Russia. My childhood was spent moving from one city to another as we followed my father around the Soviet Union. I started school in Kaliningrad, the furthest western point in Russia, then changed to a school in the capital of the Republic of Georgia, in the Caucasus, and finally graduated from senior school in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
It was during my final years at the senior school that I met Anna Garchakova, the future founder of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH), and we became lifelong friends.
I got married in 1977 and we have been very happy ever since; in 1985 our son Andrei was born.
In 1978 I graduated from the Belarusian Polytechnic with a degree in engineering. For the next 15 years I worked as an engineer in the construction sector but I felt that it was not my true calling and so went to night school to gain a qualification as an accountant. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I adore working with figures. It was not long before I was made chief accountant in the buildings and maintenance office at the Belarusian State University.
At the end of 1994, Anna Garchakova asked me to join BCH and I accepted gladly. At first it was only part time so I continued working at the university too. As the hospice grew so did the volume of work until it became impossible to do both jobs properly. It did not take me long to decide in favour of staying with the hospice.
My main activities at BCH were:
Book keeping and accountancy for the hospice and all its projects and programmes
Monthly financial reports to state departments - Department for Humanitarian Activity, Tax Office, Pensions Fund, Insurance Fund
Writing reports on current projects for donors
Assisting the director of BCH – because of how many years I have been with the hospice I get involved in many areas of its activity
I retired from being financial director but I continue to work for BCH for one day a week from home.