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USAID official, Brock Bierman, talking with one of the AH classes. He indicated that he was "very impressed" by what he saw.
From its inception, the
goal of the American Home project has been to make a positive contribution
to Russia's transition from a "command" political and economic
system to an open and flexible pluralist system capable of meeting
the legitimate needs of the Russian public.
Visitors to the American
Home who are familiar with other foreign projects in Russia regularly
comment on how remarkable it is that we have managed to stay in operation
since 1992 and have found ways to get so much done. Several visitors
have noted that we are accomplishing more with our limited resources
than many much more costly projects.
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
links at the top of this page to learn more of our history and to
meet our staff!
Embassy official on visiting the American Home in 2010:
"We weren't even remotely prepared for what we saw -- an
American-style house, filled top-to-bottom with kids learning
English with the guidance of American teachers! We stayed
long enough [to see] adults appear after their workday to learn
English with their peers
. What you've done
truly incredible -- the excitement and positive energy that we
was something I'd rarely seen before.
You deserve hearty congratulations
goals: To do the best possible job with each project we take on,
to remain flexible, and to provide assistance whenever and wherever
we reasonably can in ways that ultimately benefit the Russian people
and enhance Russian-American mutual understanding and cooperation.
Every year we attempt to
make improvements in our English program.
We are working hard to expand and improve our Intensive
Russian program. And we try to make positive contributions to
each of the "special projects"
where we attempt to provide assistance such as tourism
development, educational exchanges, and
support for the regional basketball program.
"We were new
to the concept of the American Home. Its reputation and accomplishments
were amazing to us. We know that if our recommendations [regarding
tourism development] become reality, it will be due not only
to the desire of the city officials to make changes, but to
the hard work of the American Home staff and the AH's fine reputation
and what it means to the people of Vladimir. That relationship
has to be one of the most successful that any American organization
has developed in Russia, and we marvel at the commitment of
the people who have worked so hard and remain committed to its
~ Karen Hasara, former mayor of Springfield, Illinois and a
member of the "Tourism Development
Home in Vladimir is an exciting, vibrant bridge to Russian citizens...."
~ Marilyn Kennedy, fall 2005
"[T]he scope of the American Home operation is more complicated,
time-consuming, respected, and needed in Vladimir than one might
judge by the modest dimensions of the house itself."
~ D. Nemec Ignashev, Class of 1941 Professor of Russian and
the Liberal Arts, Carleton College
"As a resource that allows American students and faculty
to gain in-depth and sustained exposure to the intricacies of
Russian culture, and allows Russians to learn first-hand about
America, its language, and culture, the American Home is unparalleled.
~ Alexander Ogden, Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative
Literature, Russian Program Director, University of South Carolina
Our success rests on the
shoulders of the excellent AH Russian staff, the extremely hardworking
teachers in our English program, the former teachers now helping manage
the operation, and the American specialists in construction
(who built the American Home), healthcare, tourism, music, recreation,
and other areas who have volunteered their time and expertise
to our special projects.
here to take a photographic tour of the American Home, and click
here to watch our introductory video (Click on Part 1).
links below to read some extended comments on the American Home :
Letter from Gus
Wilhelmy, retired businessman and founder of a large Chicago-based
Letter from M. Holt
Ruffin, former Executive Director of the Center for Civil Society
Essay by Norm Manzer,
an active participant in efforts to aid orphans in the Vladimir region