Applications open for Volunteer of Russia award
Applications for the Russia-wide competition Volunteer of Russia, which helps to find and support exemplary citizens, are open until June 16, 2019.
Anyone with their own volunteer project or initiative that helps people, animals, nature or does other socially useful things is invited to participate. Any legal entity or Russian citizen over the age of 8 may submit an application for the competition.
The competition will be held in four stages:
March 20 to June 16: Application stage. To participate in the competition, you must submit an application by filling out a questionnaire on the competition website in accordance with the category and nomination chosen.
June 17 to 30: Evaluation stage. Experts will evaluate the accepted projects. Participants will have to complete individual special tasks that will be assigned to each contestant.
July 1 to October 13: Semi-final. This stage includes contestants defending their project in front of an expert commission and an educational programme, as well as a set of special tasks. Following the results, a long-list of 10 finalists in each category will be formed.
October 14 to November 10: Final. The projects of the finalists will be evaluated by a federal jury. In addition, they will put to a popular vote. All finalists will receive an invitation to the International Volunteer Forum to be held on December 5th.
The competition is held by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Rospatriotsentr, the Russian Children and Youth Centre and the Association of Volunteer Centres.
Applications are accepted in these categories:
- Born to help: Social volunteer projects aimed at assisting, above all, vulnerable segments of the population. This includes people with disabilities, elderly people living alone and in need of attention and constant care, and terminal patients, as well as animal care activities.
- Inspired by art: Cultural projects that are carried out in museums, libraries, theatres, cinemas, cultural centres, parks and other institutions; projects in the field of preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, creating a new atmosphere of openness and accessibility of cultural spaces, the formation of cultural identity.
- Guarding the heart: Health projects designed to improve the quality of medical care at all stages: preventive, curative and rehabilitative; projects relating to medical support at mass and sporting events, sanitary preventive work and organ
- Around me: Projects aimed at the organisation of a comfortable urban environment, assistance with the improvement of settlements and the preservation of the environment.
- A volunteer says: Projects to promote positive content, the creation of new journalistic and educational media or new projects within existing media, as well as internet-based initiatives.
- Confident in the future: Projects focused on the preservation of historical memory, care for veterans and development of civil patriotism.
- Equality of opportunity: Projects that are created by people who not only have to cope with a difficult life situation (disability, limited capacity, developmental difficulties, forced relocation), but also help others.
- Volunteer organisers: Competitive selection of specialists from and/or heads of government bodies, regional institutions, non-profit organisations and volunteer centres that conduct regular activities aimed at encouraging the involvement of citizens in volunteering.
- Creative work: This category is created for creative and talented people who take photographs, create social advertising and write articles on the topic of volunteering.
- A good deed: A category for people who have done something selfless and are ready to set an example for many Russians.
Organisations can submit for:
- Volunteer centre: A competition among non-profit organisations and other legal entities that host regular activities aimed at encouraging citizens to get involved in volunteering or the formation of a community of volunteers.
- The soul of a company: For the social projects of labor unions focused on corporate social responsibility and volunteering aimed at helping people, solving social problems and improving their quality of life.
The funding for the competition has been tripled in 2019. There are now over 45 million rubles worth of grants. The best projects will receive up to 2 million rubles. More information can be obtained on the contest website, as well as in the official social media pages of the contest.
In 2018, 15,839 projects from across all of Russia were submitted to the competition, a 10 fold increase over previous years. Each project ranged from 10 to several hundred participants. 73 projects were included in the acceleration program, and 40 of them have already successfully adopted a social franchising model.