Building connection one heart at a time
Building connection one heart at a time

Valley of Wisdom: Adaptive Environment of the Future

Kalina Yarkina on innovative project on active long-living
Valley of Wisdom: Adaptive Environment of the Future

Kalina Yarkina worked as a TV director and an author of several TV and radio projects. She achieved success in corporate area and business. It has always been important for her to bring use to people in any activity. Creation of the first adaptive recreational housing estate for elderly people is one of Ms. Yarkina’s main projects.

Калин_T.jpg Kalina Yarkina
Head of Yarkina School international consulting centre, founder of Valley of Wisdom Village innovative social project, entrepreneur, business mentor

Kalina Yarkina has always dreamt of becoming a doctor. Her first education related to the field of medicine. She worked in that specialty for five years. For instance, she took care of elderly people at a state-based retirement home. Ms. Yarkina came to an idea that people need special care and support when getting older. 

Fulfilling herself in different fields of activity, Kalina Yarkina thought about that a lot. She knew that modern world had home-based care programmes for elderly people but she wanted to create something larger in scale. In her opinion, society needed a new type of adaptive environment where people aged over 55 would feel care and have opportunities to fulfil themselves. 


Active and interesting live contributes positively to people’s thinking and mental activity. 

Thus, the idea to create a special care home for elderly people in Voronezh. Then it grew into an initiative to establish a whole innovative village. 

Valley of Wisdom: Eco-Environment for Elderly Generation 

Valley of Wisdom Village is a project for people having life experience and desire to develop and fulfil themselves further irrespective of their age. According to Kalina Yarkina, it is planned to include several care homes of different formats into the housing estate. It will have highly developed infrastructure with accessible employment, different training platforms, and recreational facilities. This is a one-of-a-kind project in Russia.


“It is important for me to create a place where the elderly will be happy. A place where they will have comfortable and decent life conditions without ageism, and where their children and grandchildren will be confident in their well-being”, says the project’s founder. 

Despite long time required for building the housing estate, Kalina Yarkina and her like-minders have already started partial fulfilment of the project through additional clusters. They cooperate actively with state care homes and geriatric centre, plan to take part in creation of ‘kindergartens’ for elderly people, and cooperate with regional social protection authorities in improving the demographic situation. 


Age as a Resource 

Programme on activation of life resources of elderly people living in care homes is one of the important clusters of Valley of Wisdom Village project. 

The main task of Age as a Resource programme is to motivate elderly people to live interesting and active life, discover new opportunities for fulfilling their potential, and create a trajectory for further development. Special attention is paid to people with movement disabilities. 

Groups of elderly people are formed based on several state-based care homes in Voronezh. Every of them has individual programme taking into consideration age and interests of participants. 


For three months, experts work with the groups on the three main modules: mental capacity development, activation of physical resources, and maintaining social activity. 

The participants learn to manage their life resources consciously. 

Leaders emerge in every team over time. They can undergo extra training and become curators. Thus, upon the end of the 3-months programme, the care home has qualified people able to become mentors for their elderly friends. 

Experts trace the programme’s efficiency, analyse its results, and create new techniques to revel the potential of elderly people. This concept will form the basis of Valley of Wisdom project. 

“There is still a stereotype that with age a person’s life becomes less bright and interesting and people at care homes just live out their remaining days. This is unjust. With my project, I would like to change people’s opinion and demonstrate that everything depends on ourselves. We can create adaptive environment that would help people find new resources and make their lives more saturated”, says Kalina Yarkina. 

As a social entrepreneur, Ms. Yarkina sees her mission in creating adaptive environment where our close people will live in comfort. It is important to remember that people themselves create the world they live in. 


Successful Business: Money Go, Results Stay 

Kalina is a nickname of an interpreter Irina Yarkina. It was important for her to attract the attention of people from first meeting and make it easier for them to find information about her on the net. 

Today, Kalina Yarkina is not just a name but also a brand trusted by people. Spirituality, sincerity, and responsible care of people are its fundamental values. 

In addition to entrepreneurial activity, Kalina Yarkina provides mentoring services. She is a business consultant and certified coach listened to by professional community. She believes that business must contribute to its owner’s life both materially and spiritually. The risk of professional burnout increases significantly when you set only financial goals. 

“Money is an important resource without of which a project’s development is impossible. However, money should not be the main and the only goal of an entrepreneur. Money can go but the fulfilled projects stay with you”, believes Kalina Yarkina. 

According to the expert, social entrepreneurship is different from for-profit one in its business model. Any business project is aimed at meeting certain needs of people and can make people’s life happier and more comfortable. 

It is important that entrepreneurs approach their work responsibly and understand that they not only sell products or services but influence the formation of the environment. 

Let Yourself Think Bigger 

The main advice of Kalina Yarkina for beginning entrepreneurs is “don’t be afraid of thinking bigger”. As she recalls, she had neither money nor resources when the idea of the innovative project came to her. However, she let herself be brave enough to dream about great success and tell other people about her ideas. She shared the description of her idea in a publication on social networks, found like-minders, and got support very quickly. 

One should move to achieve progress. Even the biggest dreams are real if you turn them into concrete goals. 

Today, Kalina Yarkina delivers training classes on neurovisual planning. She demonstrates how to set goals and pursue them taking into consideration your resources. It is interesting that participants face most challenges when compiling their year’s wish list. Many of them set goals that can be attained in short time. That means, people are afraid of thinking and dreaming bigger. 

“Never limit yourself with any frameworks. Our world is huge and it is full of opportunities and like-minders. When we dream and voice our dreams aloud, we attract the people we need. As we know, by joining efforts, we can influence many things”, believes Kalina Yarkina.

Viktoria Yezhova,
Global Women Media news agency

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov

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