Internet volunteering by disabled people
The Russian Union of Volunteers (RUV) wants to develop online volunteering which they have submitted as a proposal to Olga Golodets, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister.
According to Gallup International, around 15% of the country’s able-bodied population are involved in voluntary work in Russia. They are mainly students who have a lot of free time and take an active part in all kinds of activities. However, according to members of the RUV, there is an untapped audience of disabled people who can also take part in volunteer projects and help resolve set tasks. This is where the Internet can help.
In order to give people the opportunity to help others, the RUV has suggested the preparation of a “roadmap” to promote virtual volunteering to Golodets. According to the Russian Information Agency Novosti, the proposal states that “virtual volunteering provides an opportunity to show a social activity to those whose professional (life) experiences or lifestyle is linked in some way to the Internet and disabled people”. That said, there are only a few small projects that involve individual online volunteers.
To begin with, there is a need to systemise organisations that work with online volunteers in Russia, as well as creating a basis for training potential online volunteers and a platform for dialogue with those in need of help, according to RUV experts. As a result, many people will be able to find out more about engaging in remote volunteering and start work immediately if they so wish. The RUV says that such a scheme would involve more people in the development of volunteer work, as well as making it possible to monitor how many people are engaged in voluntary work and the kind of help that is most needed.