On September 22, 2023, foreign students of the Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy from the countries of pastoral responsibility of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa visited the Mariinsky Palace of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Capital. They were accompanied by the methodologist of the International Department of the Theological School Ivan Ivanov.
In the building of the assembly, the students were give a tour of the information and educational center and told about the history of the creation and formation of the legislative body.
The meeting was initiated by the chairman of the commission on lawmaking of the Youth Parliament of St. Petersburg and a student of the Theological Academy Ivan Lelikov.
“Such meetings are held to exchange experiences. In addition, we are interested in showing students from Africa how Russian society and its legislative institutions work. During such meetings, foreign guests learn the history of the legislative body and how it works, many interesting organizational details. We hope that it helps them form active civic engagement in their homeland,” Ivan Lelikov shared his opinion.
The guests of the Legislative Assembly also visited the Red, Round, and Square Halls. The guide paid special attention to the heart of the Mariinsky Palace – The Large Meeting Room. The State Council, the Pre-Parliament, the Provisional Government, and the Leningrad Council of People’s Deputies met in it at different times. Since 1994, meetings of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg have been held in the Great Hall on Wednesdays.
During the tour, the students had the opportunity to talk to the representatives of the Youth Parliament: they answered the questions from the parliamentarians in the format of short interviews.
At the end of the tour, the students visited the house church in honor of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, and then, they participated in a working meeting of one of the commissions of the Youth Parliament.
After the working session, the guests and parliamentarians communicated in an informal atmosphere. The parties discussed the prospects for cooperation in youth policy, considered a number of issues of concern to the young generation of friendly African countries, and also examined the possibilities of providing governmental support to foreign students.