The development of the volunteer movement in Russia is progressing at an increasing pace: it is not only fashionable, but people really need it. We could all be convinced of this during the pandemic: it was the developed network of volunteers that made life in self-isolation much easier. Moscow, as the most densely populated region of Russia, has the most developed practices here – to share this experience, Mosvolonter launched an internship in the capital, in which volunteers from 14 regions of Russia take part.
The internship was started at the Committee for Public Relations and Youth Policy of the city of Moscow, it will last until June 12. The event was organized by the Association of Volunteer Centers – this all-Russian organization has a volunteer mobility program. The internship program, which was attended primarily by the heads and specialists of regional resource centers, included acquaintance with the practices of developing volunteerism in the capital, visiting large non-profit organizations and, in general, exchanging experience.
The task of Moscow volunteers is to tell colleagues about socially oriented projects and best volunteer practices operating in the city. During the week, internship participants will have a special program dedicated to cultural, sports, event and other areas of volunteering.
The round table on the first day of the internship showed that volunteering is a young and cheerful profession. And it’s not about passport age (there are also “silver” volunteers), but in an atmosphere reminiscent of the one that old Komsomol activists miss. Getting acquainted, the delegates managed to ask each other about the weather, local delicacies, and certainly joke that “it is midnight in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky” (there were no delegates from Kamchatka, but yes from the Amur Region). The “round table” itself was devoted to general issues of supporting volunteering and popularizing the volunteer movement.
“You are doing a great socially useful deed – you are developing a culture of good deeds and a volunteer community in your regions,” said Ekaterina Dragunova, chairman of the Moscow Public Relations and Youth Policy Committee, opening the round table. – So, in 2020, we passed the test for goodness, mutual assistance and realized that there are no boundaries and formats for the desire to be useful and help. In the capital, Mosvolonter has become a router of civic engagement and a logistics center for good. And today we are ready to share our experience and find out your approaches and methods in the implementation of socially significant initiatives. I am sure that during the internship you will learn a lot, get a boost of inspiration and be able to apply this knowledge in your regions.
Moscow in this area, according to Dragunova, really has something to brag about. Civil initiatives in the city are supported in various ways, including through competitions for the volunteer community, the largest of which is the Moscow Volunteer. This year it will be held for the seventh time.
Also, an annual competition for grants of the Mayor of Moscow for socially oriented non-profit organizations (SO NPO) is held. Over the past five years, more than one thousand organizations have received grants for the implementation of their projects.
Digitalization in the “third sector” continues: in October 2020, a charity service was launched on the mos.ru portal at the initiative of Moscow NGOs. It became one of the first such services implemented by the state. Donations are accepted by 42 charities. They help children and adults with disabilities, as well as animal shelters.
Still, the main thing in the volunteer movement is people: communication skills for a volunteer are key. Therefore, the main achievements of Mosvolonter, according to Ekaterina Dragunova, are mass projects: for example, this year the special project Spring Week of Kindness has brought together more than 10 thousand Muscovites and 5 thousand volunteers, about 40 online and offline events were organized for them.
“Today, about 612,000 citizens are volunteering in the capital,” said Dmitry Pokrovsky, director of the Mosvolonter resource center. “Among them are Muscovites of all ages: from schoolchildren to“ silver ”volunteers. The average age of a city assistant is 29 years old. They actively participate in the programs, promotions, trainings and events of Mosvolonter. These include programs for the development of volunteerism in educational organizations “First Step” and the creation of a volunteer community in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). And older Muscovites take part in the activities of the Young Soul program, launched to develop the potential of silver volunteers. Young people are actively joining training in the field of media volunteering, projects to protect the environment and preserve the city’s cultural heritage, as well as the Moscow Volunteer competition.
According to Pokrovsky, in 2022 it is planned to organize a Spring Week of Kindness from among the projects of the winners of the Moscow Volunteer-2021 competition. The laureates will have the opportunity to distribute their project to the entire city, as well as information support.
The current internship, which is attended by representatives of the Altai, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk Territories, Amur, Vologda, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Moscow, Samara, Tambov, Tula, Yaroslavl Regions and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, will take place within six days. In addition to Moscow this year, internships will also be held in Altai and Perm Territories, Rostov Region, Karelia, Udmurtia.
Volunteers all over the country, train