The Grand Duchess of Russia, Maria Vladimirovna, is expected to visit Malta this summer as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the International Charity Society (ICS).

During her stay here, she plans to visit San Anton Palace, where her grandmother, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, born Princess Victoria Melita, was born. Her father was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. She herself was born in 1953 and is regarded by some genealogists and Russian monarchists as the head of the Imperial Family of Russia.

The Grand Duchess lives in Madrid where she maintains friendly relations with the Spanish Royal family. Her visit to Malta is expected to further promote the cultural relations between Malta and Russia.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, ICS is inviting Maltese families to sponsor a Russian orphan child's "dream holiday". The children, who lack a family environment and seek love, care and attention, would spend next summer with the sponsoring Maltese families.

ICS director Irina Malikova said that past experience showed that major changes took place in the personality of Russian orphans who spent time with a Maltese family. The children are seen to have regained a certain confidence, look to the future with a more positive frame of mind and hope to, one day, have their own loving family.

ICS was set up to promote the generosity of the Maltese people. Its prime objective is to organise holiday visits for orphans from the Russian Federation. The "dream holiday" project is being organised with the education and social solidarity ministries.

Maltese families wishing to host a child can contact Dame Irina on 9942 9997 or 2169 2298.

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