The appointment of an advisor to the governor for volunteering, the creation of a special volunteer division and interdepartmental council in the regional administration’s structure, the formation of municipal volunteer headquarters and other system solutions were proposed by representatives of the Smolensk volunteer movement during a meeting with the General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Svetlana Chupsheva and Smolensk Region Governor Alexei Ostrovsky. The meeting was held on November 21 during the visit of the General Director of ASI to the region.
Alexey Ostrovsky said that in the Smolensk region has one of the best volunteer movements in the country, and expressed his readiness, with the support of ASI, to replicate this experience in other constituent entities.
“We are implementing the Volunteering Development Standard in 50 regions. Smolensk region offers new practices that are not taken into account. And these are truly system solutions that will help effectively support volunteers in the regions,” Svetlana Chupsheva said.
Chairman of the board of the Smolensk region public organization “Search Association “Dolg” Nina Kulikovskih, who was appointed advisor to the governor for volunteering, noted that this status provides additional opportunities for supporting and developing the movement in the region, and the involvement of the governor has a greater effect in making decisions for many issues of volunteering. She emphasized that this practice is already being used by the governor of the Kostroma region.
Alexey Ostrovsky said that the Smolensk region is the only one in the country where a separate structural subdivision in the regional administration has been created - the civil-patriotic education department, which deals with the development and support of volunteering. He proposed to replicate this practice in all regions of the Russian Federation.
The regional system for training volunteers according to age levels based on the succession methodology is noteworthy. Training on an ongoing basis takes place in the camp shift format, where volunteer projects are developed as part of the educational program. To help implement these projects on the ground, volunteer headquarters are being created in municipalities.
“Trained volunteers, returning to their municipalities, become the mainstay of youth affairs professionals in the municipalities. The guys come, who do not just "burn", but also have the tools that they were taught. They become centers for the volunteer movement,” Inna Kharitonova, coordinator of the development of volunteering in the Smolensk region, explained.
The successful volunteer practice in the field of medicine was presented by the head of the Smolensk regional branch of the All-Russian public volunteer movement in the field of health "Volunteers-doctors" Anton Korotchenko. A team of nearly 500 people, including doctors and students of medical educational institutions in the region, travels to populated areas and carries out diagnostics of residents - not only in Smolensk, but also in the Bryansk and Kaluga regions.
“For each trip, about 50 people are examined, in total, more than 6 thousand have been received. We plan to start the “Health for Healthy” project. We are engaged in the identification of diseases affecting reproductive function among young people. There are agreements for the next year to join the regional national health project,” Anton Korotchenko said.
He emphasized that their Smolensk project was supported for scaling in Russia by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova and Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova.
In the Smolensk region in each organization that provides socio-psychological assistance, there are volunteer groups, mainly from among the students. But today, as Natalya Polushkina, the director of the Center for Psychological, Pedagogical and Social Assistance to Children and Families “For the Future”, has told, new volunteering formats have appeared.
“If earlier we attracted volunteers to provide assistance to orphans, now we have switched to a format where orphans themselves provide such assistance to their peers. To conduct tests, practices, routes to the enterprises that we carry out for children, we now attract older people to volunteer activities and see them in perspective as mentors” she said.
Svetlana Chupsheva drew attention to the fact that at the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Social Development of the Russian Federation developed a model roadmap to support the "silver" volunteering. “Such a document was sent to the regions from the point of view of methodological recommendations on the organization of work. At the regional level, this is precisely the profile of the ministry of labor, the ministry of health - who can implement policies to involve and support “silver” volunteering programs,” she explained.
Svetlana Chupsheva recalled the financial measures to support volunteering at the state level. Within the budget of the Presidential Grants Fund, which is distributed to NPOs, it was decided to allocate separately quotas for activities and projects related to voluntary activities.