Charity Xmas Festival Brings Together 13 Charity Organizations at HSE University
A New Year's fair, information about non-commercial organisations, masterclasses, lectures and an obstacle demonstration with a guide dog: just some of the events that occurred as part of HSE’s contribution to the International Day of Charity, which took place at HSE Central atrium on 11 Pokrovsky Boulevard.
The ‘Charity Xmas’ festival welcomed everyone for whom the words ‘social responsibility’ and ‘charity’ mean a lot. Kristina Vtornikova, first-year student of the Faculty of Economic Sciences, took part in the ‘Joy of Old Age’ Foundation project – she signed cards for elderly people: ‘I write New Year wishes for seniors who live in nursing homes. I wish them more happiness, because everyone needs it. I couldn’t just walk past the stand of this foundation, because it's great that they help the elderly, and so few people do it now.’
The charity foundation “‘Krug’ (Circle) Creative Association” provides support for people with disabilities, helps them with professional and social rehabilitation, finds them work and supported accommodation. ‘The foundation was established five years ago, I have been working here since the beginning. We work in a ceramic workshop,’ says one resident of the Association Mikhail Ilyanykh. – We have people with different disabilities: there are deaf and dumb people, blind or deaf-blind. We work together, we have a friendly team, each of us performs his/her function and assists the others.’
Students were also interested in an improvised obstacle course. They were able to try it with their eyes closed, accompanied by a guide dog.
‘It feels unusual when someone is leading you, and it’s not you who is in control of the environment,’ says first-year student Ksenia Yunosha, sharing her impressions of this experience. ‘It was uncomfortable and even a little frightening.’
Irina Zenkina, Deputy Director of the training canine centre of assistant dogs for disabled people, noted that the labrador, who came at HSE, is not yet ready for independent work: ‘Let's just say, Rich's readiness to interact with the blind is 90%. Now he is finishing his studies at our centre and trains at different events.’ Irina adds that the centre always welcomes active volunteers who have time to train with the animals. Moreover, dog handlers are already working with HSE students: ‘Volunteer teachers and students from HSE have already helped us to raise many puppies who now work as guide dogs with blind people, making their lives easier.’
‘On December 3rd over 100 countries take part in the ‘Generous Tuesday’ campaign to promote charity. With the support of the Katya Bermant’s ‘Lavka Radostey’ Foundation we managed to join the movement: it’s the first time a charity festival of this level has been held at HSE. 13 charity foundations were partners of the event. It was important for us to show the HSE community that charity can take many different forms: you can help homeless animals, orphans, lonely old people, become a donor, volunteer in a hospice or simply be a person who lets their friends know about opportunities to help.’
Sheripher Dinala, from Malawi, is a student of the Master’s in Political Analysis and Public Policy at HSE University in Moscow. With her busy summer over and the new academic year in full swing, Sheripher shares her stories of moving into a university dormitory, volunteering at international conferences, and nighttime dancing by the Moscow River.
On September 5th, which is the International Day of Charity, the Service Learning programme was launched at many of the country’s universities. HSE University hosted a meeting with deputy deans and faculty project managers, followed by a large NGO fair, where both students and HSE University staff got to know more about partner NGOs and planned further joint projects.
From August 7 to 9, the annual All-Russian Forum of Medical Volunteers took place at HSE University’s Cultural Centre. The event was held for the seventh year in a row. This year, 300 medical volunteers from all over Russia took part.
Students of the Bachelor's programme in Business Administration at HSE Nizhny Novgorod are implementing ‘The World Through the Eyes of the Blind’ public initiative as part of a project seminar. The students are holding exhibitions and workshops to raise funds through the crowdfunding platform Planeta.ru in order to install a radio system in a boarding school for blind and visually impaired students and to draw attention to the problems of people with visual disabilities.
The Green HSE student organisation recently held the ‘Green Conversation’ festival at the Cultural Centre on Pokrovsky Bulvar. At the event, participants discussed the planet’s main ecological problems and the steps required to start building a green future today.
HSE University is known for its active extracurricular life. There are many student organisations at the university, so everyone can find something for themselves. Anna Lulikyan, fourth-year bachelor student in Sociology, told the HSE News Service about the Best Buddies HSE volunteer club.
On September 4, the Road of Kindness charity run will take place in Gorky Park. The event is timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of HSE University, and was organised by the university’s students in cooperation with the Student Initiative Support Centre and the Centre for Leadership and Volunteer Work. The event is also being held in Nizhny Novgorod.
HSE University researchers together with colleagues from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and the University of Pennsylvania examined the determinants of episodic volunteer satisfaction and its impact on the motivation to continue volunteering.
HSE University graduates and the Nochlezhka charity organisation have launched a social media project called ‘Gde-to ryadom’ (‘Somewhere Nearby’) about volunteering to help homeless people. The project offers a look at volunteer work from various perspectives through personal stories, expert opinions, and interactive cases.
Mariam Margaryan, a graduate of the HSE University Economics and Statistics programme, HSE University lecturer, and the Fundraising Director of the Friends Foundation, says that she got into philanthropy by accident. As a student of the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences, she planned to forge a career in a large consulting company. She spoke of her path to NGOs, her favourite social projects and her work at the University in an interview with the HSE University Project-Based Learning Laboratory of Economic Journalism.