04 January 2006, 10:45
by Titov Anatoli
Service for Peace, recently held a volunteer Forum for students in cooperation with Moscow State University, the United Nations Volunteers, the International Association of Volunteers Efforts(IAVE), and Sozidanie, a national charity, on 12 December in Moscow, for International Volunteer Day (IVD).
According to statistics 43 per cent of people in Russia has desire to participate in volunteer activity, but, in reality, only 1 to 2 per cent is participating.
Volunteerism is not fully developed in Russia. Young people, especially students have a lot of energy to do something. Also they are very capable. The only thing is missing to become volunteer is experience. We decided that in connection with IVD, we will make an event which will stimulate volunteerism among university students.
Together with several partner organizations we held a volunteer forum at the Moscow State University. Active students from several universities were invited, and they had intensive learning program: UN Volunteer who works with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees offered a report about UN Volunteers activity around the world. The national IAVE representative shared her vision how to develop volunteer movement in university or college. Discussions, project presentations were also very exciting. This Forum also was a basis for cooperation and declaration of plans for 2006.
This forum became a starting point of two long-term projects for disabled children in Moscow and helping children in war-torn Chechen Republic.