A. Zhukov: “ Volunteering can change the world for the better” Saturday, the 16th of July, 2016

A. Zhukov: “ Volunteering can change the world for the better” Saturday, the 16th of July, 2016

IX international conference “Volunteering is a technology of social reforms” took place in Geneva. There were representatives of National Education Committee, educational organizations, Mass Media, governments from 40 regions of Russia and 30 countries from all over the world. Speakers discussed issues concerning the realization of volunteering initiatives as a part of public diplomacy of a country. Also, some projects were discussed, which were successfully held by the participants. More than that, they pointed out an important role of volunteering organizations which help to solve some humanistic problems.

One of the participants of the Russian delegation was a deputy of Voronezh City Duma and a founder of the fund “Kindness”, A. Zhukov.

The speakers and participants of the three day forum took part in different workshops, speaker’s corners conducted by the leading experts from Russia and other countries. Also, there were various round-table discussions, presentations and sharing experience. The representatives had a chance to know more about volunteering projects of different areas which were successfully realized, had positive influence on reforms of social services.

So, the Russian delegation spoke about how they have managed to revive the village in the Sverdlovsk region by opening the production of honey with berries and employed almost all citizens of that village there. Another project “Flying animals” serves to help children who are in need.

One of the most important issues was the development of inclusion in the social, economic and cultural spheres. There were discussed such problems as volunteering in emergency situations, territorial public self-governments and social entrepreneurship there.

The speakers of the event were representatives of the UN Volunteers program, the European Volunteer Center, the International Association of Volunteer efforts (IAVE), the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Perm volunteer development center.

The exhibition “Socially significant initiatives of non-profit organizations to achieve the goals of sustainable development of the UN” was opened on the first day of the conference. The Charitable Fund “Kindness”, which has been supervising a number of boarding schools and orphanages of the city and the region and helping children with grave diseases, took part in it.

The activities of the organization were highly appreciated by foreign colleagues.

— At the conference in Geneva there were presented volunteer projects of both Russian and foreign organizations, which makes it possible to compare the effectiveness of such projects, to adopt the experience of foreign colleagues, – said A. Zhukov.

During the conference, the forum participants visited a number of international organizations, such as the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the International Labor Center, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF and others.

At the end of the conference, Alexander Zhukov was awarded a UN certificate at the Permanent mission of the Russian Federation to the UN, which proves not only active participation at the conference events, but also shows interest in the development of the volunteer movement.

The future cooperation with the participants and speakers of the conference was a significant step forward. Two participants of the conference are going to visit Voronezh in November. Within the framework of the project, experts will discuss with students and local speakers the development of “exchange programs”.

– The opportunity to spend a semester abroad for a student or a pupil opens up new vistas, as well as internship or working in a foreign company give an opportunity to acquire new experience and improve one’s skills. After all, in order to share knowledge you constantly need to receive new information. Such exchanging between universities in different countries allows teachers to open new approaches, new technologies, and self-improvement.

More than that, it is planned to pay more attention to the level of accessibility of urban space for people with disabilities and to conduct workshops and thematic round table discussions related to the social, economic and cultural spheres of the volunteer organization activity.