A journalist by profession, Svetlana Bocharova (born 1941) has been working with NGOs since 1991. In 1996, she became one of the leaders of Dobro biez granits (Good without borders). The organization has initiated 30 different projects to help orphans, children with limited abilities, and children who are victims of armed conflicts. As the artistic director of the Magic Lamp Theater (Moscow), she actively introduces artistic activities as part of rehabilitation programs. She helps carry out informative and educational projects to raise society's awareness of children's problems.
The people who know Svetlana Bocharova personally often say that she is an extraordinary person. When she came to the Magic Lamp Puppet Theater (Moscow), she immediately fell in love with the show and the moving characters. But her main love, her principal concern is children: handicapped children, orphan children, Chechen children who suffered during the war and lost their close relatives. She brought children from Chechnya to Moscow and had them hosted by her friends and acquaintances. She herself put up some Chechen girls as well. She took them to the Magic Lamp Theater. Children remain children–even if they have grown up in the dreadful conditions of war. Boys and girls, who had become adults so early in life, watched the play ‘The Princess and the Pea,’ adapted from the fairy-tale by Hans-Christian Andersen. They were captivated by the beautiful show of the little delicate puppets, they were charmed by the waltzes and minuets. What did these children feel, coming from the war directly into a fairy-tale? They plunged into the beautiful imaginary world, into this enchantment. Early the next day, just before their departure, everyone gathered for another activity. They went to the shops to buy little pieces of beautiful fabrics, as now they were going to create a fairy-tale themselves: they were going to create a theater back home in Chechnya. Some time later, Svetlana Bocharova went to a refugee camp in Ingushetia to visit the children. The news of her arrival quickly spread around the little tent city. Children are running towards her, embracing her as if she were a family member. They are shouting, interrupting each other, telling her about their theater, about this tiny slice of a different, better world that they have created amidst the war, the suffering, and the separations.
Dobro biez granits (Good without borders)