The second excursion for people with limited mobility took place in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The History of Our City project is an initiative of the employees of the Sakhalin Regional Universal Scientific Library sponsored by Sakhalin Energy through the Energy Social Initiatives Fund.
“We hope that this project will enrich the cultural experience of vulnerable social groups living in the regional centre, and they will have a productive and comfortable time. There is no doubt that this will be beneficial for their daily life,” said Lyudmila Alexeeva, project coordinator and Chief Librarian of the Sakhalin Regional Universal Scientific Library.
Maoka-dori, Odori, Tamagawa — these are just the few mysterious names that the participants heard during the excursion dedicated to the city plan of Toyohara, administrative centre of the southern Sakhalin in the Karafuto period. In a special bus for people with limited mobility, the citizens of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk heard about different historical facts illustrated by a presentation on the screen.
By the way, this useful equipment was installed in the bus fairly recently due to the efforts of Sakhalin Energy together with special headsets that allowed the excursionists to perceive information not only without noise but also from a significant distance if necessary.
The excursion route lay along the lively streets of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. By the way, its layout follows the layout of the American Chicago whereby a city is divided into four parts by two main streets that intersect exactly at right angles. Here is, for example, Maoka-dori main street (current name is Sakhalinskaya street), take a turn right, and you will find yourself at Bumazhnaya street where a Japanese paper mill used to be — it was for this plant that the Odzi pond was constructed. Numerous birch forests of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are also a legacy of Karafuto. It was the birch whose leaves were pictured on the prefecture emblem.
The attendees were accompanied by a volunteer guide. Larisa Orekhova completed the Sakhalin Guide for People course at the city library where the lectures were delivered by famous historians and scientists of the region.
“I discovered a passion for local history after retirement and cannot stop it ever since. I spent several years to prepare presentations for my excursions. I am so glad to have the opportunity to share this valuable knowledge about our history with my compatriots who, I hope, will enjoy it,” says Larisa Orekhova.
And, judging by the grateful response of the excursionists, Larisa was right. Every participant expressed the wish to take part in other excursions within this project thanks to which they have learnt “extraordinary things” about their city.
After lunch, another observation tour around the region was organised for physically-challenged children. Young citizens of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk came from the north of the island for an aftertreatment at the Preodoleniye (Overcoming) centre. The employees of the library plan to deliver the total of 15 excursions within this project dedicated to different topics, including walking tours.
6 July 2018