Nine-year-old Alesya and six-year-old Danil shake their heads wordlessly. It is obvious - they do not like cleaning. After some time, though, they are engaged in the cleaning process, and it is again difficult to get a single word out of them.
"Mother, can I wash the walls?" nine-year-old Sasha yells through the house. Obviously, the boy has got carried away. "I have never washed the walls," explains the boy about his sudden wish. "I just want to try." It's just another Saturday in SOS Children's Village Pushkin, Russia - it's the traditional uborka, the general cleaning day.
Duty officers in charge
Mother Elena explains that they clean downstairs every day. Cleaning the second floor is not necessary so often. "On Saturdays, we have the general uborka - a complete cleaning of the house."
"We also have the system of 'duty officers' - children have to take care of different tasks during the week and then they change. For example, if one child cleans the table, the other one washes the dishes and next week they change."
When doing the general uborka, the tasks are also divided - this week Alesya cleans the stairs and the corridor, next week she takes care of the bathroom. 14-year-old Vova admits that he does not like the idea of house cleaning all the time. "It depends on the stuff I have to do," says Vova on his last day in the village - on the following day he will leave the village and move to the youth facility in St. Petersburg. "It's OK - I have been there already and I know what it is like."
The ones who stay in the village follow the tradition. "We don't have problems with house cleaning - they are all good kids. The new kids, Alesya and Sasha, who have been in the village for five months and one month respectively, are trying hard and doing fine," says mother Elena. "Sometimes they need to be instructed, but as soon as they understand what to do and how to do it, they manage perfectly."
Sasha does not necessarily love cleaning, but he understands the importance of cleaning and explains why he is so enthusiastic about it. "When you do everything mom wants quickly and properly, you can have a rest and do whatever you want - watch TV, read a book or go out and enjoy the rest of the Saturday."