Marina Vasilievna Fedina

Principal of a Kindergarten #200 in Cheboksary, a city in Russia's remote Chuvash Republic.

This kindergarten is my baby. And as any baby, it can bring a smile to my face and it can bring tears to my eyes. I have been here from the beginning. I wondered if it was the right decision to head a new pre-school with no established team and no routine, which is essential for a school.

I already had extensive experience leading a kindergarten. (At my previous school) we had a very good team, a very well-organized institution. I worried a new role would take me out of my comfort zone. Then I said to myself "You should move forward, use your experience to achieve more." Today, I am sure I made the right decision.

In today’s world, many families cannot afford to have one parent to stay home and take care of the children. Nor can they afford private tutors. That's why we have a growing number of pre-schools equipped to not just take care of kids during working hours, but to give them important social skills, develop their creativity, and prepare them for school. We have plenty of classes for our pupils, including dancing, choir, therapeutic exercises, English, and robotics. Kids like these classes a lot.

Parents sometimes also need to be educated on how to be parents. Now we have their trust. They know that this is an investment in their kids and their future. They see the value of our work and they see concrete results. Some people might say that leading a pre-school is not as prestigious as being a manager of a company. They don’t see the effort it takes to run a kindergarten, to keep it in order. It requires organizational and human resource skills, the ability to multitask, good stress management, and, of course, a sense of humor.

Today, our kindergarten has nicely decorated rooms and halls. We have a team of young professionals who are full of energy and new ideas. We have 580 smiling kids coming to our two buildings every morning. This gives me energy and makes me feel proud of our kindergarten.

---

Kindergarten #200 is one of 40 kindergartens built in the Chuvash Republic between in 2012 and 2015 with financial support from IFC. IFC provided two long-term loans, each for 500 million Russian rubles, to the republic to finance the construction and renovation of preschools, expanding access to quality preschool education in Russia’s frontier Volga region.

Chuvash is a long term IFC partner and client. Starting in 2006, when IFC partially guaranteed a regional bond issue, IFC has also supported development of roads and the healthcare network in the republic.