State-backed volunteering resource centres to be formed in 50 Russian regions
A contest to encourage the formation of a network of regional volunteering centres, announced at the Eastern Economic Forum, is taking place between 20 September and 10 October.
The resource centres will create an infrastructure to encourage volunteering in the regions and function as coordination points. They will also undertake training and consultation, as well as identifying suitable premises and partner organisations. One centre is due to open in the Russian Far East.
‘We believe that the creation of such centres in the regions will help facilitate communication between groups of volunteers,’ Anna Shemchuk, head of volunteering at the Primorsky Krai Youth Development Centre, told the Agency for Social Information. ‘Leaders and activists will have the opportunity to meet and share their experience and practice. We cannot always attend nationwide events because of the huge distances involved and, when people go, the numbers are far fewer than they would be if events were held in the regions. We are hoping that this initiative might inspire new regional projects.’
The formation of regional resource centres is one aspect of state policy aimed at developing the voluntary sector. Eight NGOs will form an association of centres for volunteering, and each will receive 50 million roubles from the federal budget along with co-financing from the regional budget.
It is expected that by the end of the year regional resource centres will be formed in 50 constituent territories of the Russian Federation.