Volunteer Clowns in Moscow
The children’s festival ‘Red’ recently took place place in Moscow. The event was organized by Konstantin Sedov, HSE graduate. Konstantin is founder of the ‘Hospital Clowns’ charity, which has been active since 2008.
‘Hospital Clowns’ is a volunteer movement which helps sick and disabled children. About 130 hospital clowns from 17 cities across Russia, as well as Ukraine and Belarus, participated in the festival and the seminar for volunteer clowns.
Seventeen various platforms and venues were open in the Hermitage park, where volunteers played with children helping to distract them from hospital fears and stress.
‘The Moscow city Department of Culture as well as the Hermitage park itself supported our initiative’, Konstantin Sedov told us, ‘And, of course, our friends and friends’ friends helped us, as often happens at such events. I particularly want to thank Andrey Vershinin, Head of the HSE Center of Creative Clubs, and all his staff who helped to get the festival ready’.
Over 20 volunteers participated in organizing the festival, many of them HSE students and graduates. ‘Hospital Clowns’ actively cooperates with the HSE, particularly with the Office of Extracurricular Activities, and its head, Tatiana Zakharova, is a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees. HSE students play with children, assist with the logistics of the festival organization, and help run masterclasses by international experts.
On June 8, the conference ‘The State and the Charities: Together to a Common Goal’ took place at HSE. It was organized together with the Agency of Social Information, the Donor Forum, and the Blagosfera Centre. Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia, and Tatyana Golikova, Vice Prime Minister of Russia, took part in the conference.
Practically all events hosted by HSE Lyceum are accompanied by a charity fair organized by the student group, Charity Market. Money made from the market is donated to the animal support fund ‘Pick up a Friend’ and to the Kozhukhovsky Shelter, with whom Lyceum students have been cooperating for several years. The HSE news team has the latest news their interesting extracurricular projects.
A project by ICEF student Evgeny Pasnyuk started out as a fairly unsuccessful attempt to collect money for charity, but now his water branded ‘Simple Good’ is available in shops, cafes, and food courts across Moscow. Evgeny is confident that social entrepreneurship in Russia is only starting to develop, and that it will get easier in time.
A Harry Potter-themed university graduation party has been held at HSE. This year, the party was completely organized by HSE students, they selected everything – from the location to the entertainment, and not only graduates, but also their friends and family were invited.
Altruism based on individual values is changing Western society. People in Western countries have seen a rise in individualism for quite some time, and this in turn helps to create generations of people with altruistic mindsets. Christian Welzel, Chief Research Fellow in the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (HSE and Leuphana University of Lüneburg), teamed up with researchers from the University of Lausanne to conduct a study showing the connection between emancipative values and prosocial behaviour. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.
On March 11, 2017, HSE will host the ‘Heroes Among Us’ charity festival. The month leading up to it is Good Deed Month, organized by the Open Your Eyes student project. People are encouraged to use this month to do good. Check out the ideas below – having a big positive impact doesn’t always mean putting a lot of effort in.
The belief that the non-profit sector is mainly supported by private donations is nothing but a myth. According to Natalia Ivanova's study Foreign Experience of Government's Impact on Philanthropy and Its Applicability in Russia, government support accounts for a substantial part of charity budgets.