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Regular version of the site

‘Inclusive Events Make the World a Better Place’

HSE volunteers together with the HSE Theatre have held a New Year event for the children and grandchildren of the university staff and students of the ‘Pokrovsky Kvartal’ school, where children with disabilities also study.

The ‘The Elf Workshop’ was crowded: children and volunteers worked hard to create gifts and cards for relatives and friends, painted t-shirts, made toys out of candy and exclusive Christmas caps. For one night the HSE Cultural Centre on Pokrovsky Boulevard turned into Father Frost’s workshop.

 ‘Today we’re working in two shifts. First, we held an event for children from three to six years, now we celebrate the New Year with those who are older, from six to eleven years. We have prepared different programmes for different ages. The kids love all of it! The younger ones felt very happy after the celebration and a bit upset that the event had come to an end,’ says Anastasia Nemykina, coordinator of the volunteer association ‘Open Your Eyes’".

Over 150 children took part in the event. Gennady, a student of the ‘Pokrovsky Kvartal’ school, was among them. The 14-year-old boy was taking part in the HSE celebration for the second time: ‘I like everything here! The main thing is to have fun, as the New Year is a fun holiday.’

Anastasia Gorbunova, a teacher at ‘Pokrovsky Kvartal’ school, says that this type of inclusive activities are important for all children regardless of their condition: ‘First of all it is very useful not only for our students but for those who do not have serious health problems, so they can see that children with disabilities are no different from them: everyone is playing, everyone is having fun, there’s no difference between us."

Photo: Anastasia Gorbunova and 6-th grade students of the ‘Pokrovsky Kvartal’ school

In addition to master classes, there were also sweets, games with animators, dancing and, of course, a fabulous show based on the popular cartoon ‘Frozen’ for HSE young guests.

This is not the first time HSE volunteers and the Centre for Leadership and Volunteer Workhave held events focused on inclusivity. Last year, a New Year celebration was organised for all children including children with disabilities, while in spring the children celebrated Maslenitsa together, and on June 1 the first inclusive urban festival organized by the HSE was held in Baumanskaya Park.

Tamara Protasevich, Director for Occupational and Gifted Student Guidance came to the festivities with her granddaughter: ‘I think that inclusive events for children make the world a better place. Sometimes children are kept in the dark about some diseases, and then, as they become older, they do not know how to behave around people with disabilities. It is much better if children learn about everything naturally, as part of their life, because people with disabilities are just the same as people without them.’

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