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These aren’t Western “philanthropists” leading social engineering projects we’re talking about here, these are genuine pro-human activists doing volunteer work to help their fellow man out of the goodness of their hearts.
These activities include helping old people in hospitals, creating animal shelters, putting out forest fires, assisting the disabled, among other things. Vladimir Putin stepped in himself to participate in the Dream with Me project, similar to the Make a Wish foundation, as he visited children who wanted to meet him.
Very heartwarming segment.
Vladimir Putin made his statement in connection with Washington’s ultimatum today after the Volunteer of Russia 2018 award ceremony. It was the culmination of the International Volunteer Forum which was held in Moscow. The president participated in the award ceremony.
15,000 participants came to the forum from every region of Russia and 120 foreign countries. Vladimir Putin promised volunteers that the state will continue to support them even after the Year of Volunteers ends in Russia. The president made several personal promises which are very important to the people they were made to.
Here's Dmitry Kaistro reporting from the forum of those who aren't indifferent.
There are already thousands of such youths in Russia. They help old people in hospitals and create animal shelters. Many of those people, who are true heroes of our time, took part in the International Volunteer forum and its main event - the Volunteer of Russia 2018 award ceremony.
Vladimir Putin attended the ceremony. When the president appeared on the scene, the stadium literally burst with emotions because volunteers are one family united by a central idea - to do good.
Vladimir Putin: “You're doing a very important thing not only for yourselves or those you are helping; you're doing this for our society as a whole because when people look at you, they not only take an example from you but as people say, they have hope for what's going on and feel stability in our society.
This not only makes our society kinder, but this also makes all of us more balanced and more resistant to internal and external stresses. There have always been enough such stresses everywhere, including our country. I want to wish you happiness and good luck. I would like you to be personally happy. Thank you very much for everything.”
Volunteering is more than a hobby for these guys. It's the meaning of their lives. It's a social movement which they fully devote themselves to.
“We are motivated to be there and awarded next year. We've gained much new experience and obtained much new knowledge.“
“We're grateful for being able to talk to other volunteers from different countries.”
“I'm a volunteer from Switzerland and I think that we're like a family here.”
Anton, the author of the Healthy Village project, and his fellow volunteers visited over 30 villages in the Smolensk, Bryansk, and Kaluga Oblasts. He arranged doctor's appointments and held first aid master classes.
Anton Korotchenko, volunteer of the year: "Sometimes, for the residents of thousands of villages and settlements, it takes them several hours just to see a doctor."
Today, the president granted the coveted award to Anton.
Anton Korotchenko: “Every volunteer, who is here at the moment or helping someone at the other end of the country, deserves this award. Everything we're doing is valuable and important.”
Vladimir Putin: “Anton is right: it's impossible to fit the entire volunteer movement in here, in one hall, even a very large one. Therefore, I congratulate you all on Volunteer Day, and I congratulate you all on your personal results, I'd like to ask a question that is probably rhetorical: will we continue doing good deeds?”
After the congratulations, there was a unique opportunity to take a selfie with Putin. A young volunteer stood closer to the president than anyone. Though his smartphone let him down. While his device wasn't functioning, other volunteers with their phones surrounded Vladimir Putin in an instant.
The volunteer movement includes 14 million people in Russia. There are senior people among them. They call them "silver volunteers". According to surveys, two in three Russians are ready to help strangers.
The volunteer movement isn't politics but a history of good deeds. Volunteering has no borders.
Volunteers help seek and rescue missing people, put out forest fires, and take care of disabled people. Volunteering at the Olympics in Sochi and the World Cup was bright events. 35,000 volunteers in total worked at the World Cup.
Today, this movement is operating in every sphere of social life of Russia.
“Choose any birdhouse, there are wishes inside.”
Volunteers also created the Dream with Me project. They fulfill the wishes of children who have deadly illnesses. They've managed to perform small but very important miracles for many children in the country in the four years that the project has been existing.
The 10-year-old Ruzelya from Kazan who dreamed of becoming a basketball player managed to play basketball. Volunteers gave 5-year-old Galya from Krasnodar Krai a true birthday party, a party that she never had.
Today, Vladimir Putin stopped at a charity projects booth with envelopes containing the wishes of seriously ill children attached to it. He took all of the five remaining envelopes. This boy told his dream of a bird's-eye view of Saint Petersburg.
Vladimir Putin: “We'll invite Artyom, and if the weather is fine, we'll fly in a helicopter.”
“My dream is to visit a film studio because I think it is the most interesting profession.”
Vladimir Putin: “We'll ask the head of Mosfilm Karen Shakhnazarov and Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov, and they'll make a tour of the studio for her. Nikita Sergeyevich will also help take part in some event.”
“I want to shake hands with the president because I respect him.”
Vladimir Putin: “That's very touching. It was unexpected. I'll certainly talk to the doctors, I'll certainly talk to them. And if Kolya's condition permits, we'll invite him to spend the New Year holidays in Moscow, and I'll see him.”
The president promised to fulfill those touching children's dreams. After all, every such dream is actually a big hope, a hope that a miracle will happen to a person one day, so the entire world around us will become better.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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