Make Large Families Great Again - An Annual Festival Near Moscow Celebrates Having Lots of Kids (VIDEO)

On August 5 to 7, 2022, a town of Kashira near Moscow hosted the Fifth Moscow Region Family Forum "Many Kids for Russia".  The main goal of the event is to form a positive image of a large family as well as work out new approaches and ways of supporting family, fatherhood, motherhood and childhood in the current economic and political situation.  It was attended by more than 600 participants from 63 municipalities of the Moscow Region and 143 delegates from the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics.

The Forum agenda included sections, like "Fathers of Moscow Region", "Big Family", "Childhood", as well as discussion panels and informal meetings with federal and local officials, and - all sorts of competition and entertainment for kids and their parents.

The event in Kashira was held as part of the "Many Kids for Russia" national project aimed at strengthening the institution of the traditional family, promoting family values and supporting large families. 

In Russia, the issue of supporting large families has been taken to the top level. Patriarch Kirill, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, speaking in the RF Senate on May 17, 2022, insisted on a need of a new law defining the status of large families.  "This bill needs to be drawn as soon as possible, with the help from the parental community, as well as the traditional religions in Russia," Patriarch Kirill said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the Presidium of the State Council on social policy on May 25, 2022, proposed to promote some of best solutions in supporting families with children, large families, in particular. "A family with three, four or more children should enjoy a high social status and get the support from the state, he said. This is a historic tradition, which needs to be revived and become a norm. This comes as the top priority issues for the state authorities. Many regions have already achieved good results regarding their “Large family” policy”.

For example, the Ulyanovsk region (Volga region) has registered growth in the number of large families. This year in the region there have been 14,389 families with more than three kids – a 5% increase, compared to 13,663 big families in 2021.

In Russia there are currently two major national programs, namely, "Demography" and "Many Kids for Russia", that support large families, providing for money allowances, benefits when paying for communal services and mortgages, in some regions large families are provided with plots of land, etc.

"Strengthening the family institution, preserving traditional family values, creating conditions for an increase in the birth rate, protecting motherhood and childhood, providing decent education for younger generation - these are national priorities, Irina Petina, a member of the Senate Committee on Social Policy, maintains. - The events held as part of the "Many Kids for Russia" program are a great help in implementing top priority state policies”.

Natalia Karpovich, Head of the NGO, called “Association of Large Families of Moscow”, thanked regional public organizations which were actively involved in the preparation for the “Large Families” Forum. "It is only too often, that the problems at the grassroots’ level, are perceived very differently by higher authorities, so the solutions worked out “up there” just would not work. This is why a two-way communication with officials is so important, and I am very pleased that the Forum for Large Families provides a platform for such dialogue”.