Training courses for Russian volunteers at the Higher School of Economics
Russian volunteers will be trained at the Higher School of Economics
The Higher School of Economics has announced on its website that volunteers working for NGOs that provide social services will receive training at universities and colleges across Russia under the auspices of the Higher School of Economics.
The Research Centre into Civic Society and the CSO (NGO) Sector, which is part of Moscow University’s Higher School of Economics, has joined forces with the Association of Volunteer Centres to establish a programme of further professional education for volunteers working for CSOs. The programme has the backing of the Ministry of Science Education. Deputy Minister of Science Yelena Druzhinina reported on the development in a letter to universities across Russia.
The programme has already been trialled in 24 Russian universities and colleges. The intention now is to roll out the programmes across the country.
The programme has two elements. One is entitled “The Organisation of Charity Work and Cooperation among CSOs which Provide Social Services” and will offer 36 hours of training to undergraduates currently studying for Bachelor’s or Master’s degree courses; the second, entitled “Developing charity work and promoting cooperation among CSOs providing social services”, will provide 114 hours of training to graduates and people currently involved in charity work.
Irina Mersiyanova, Director of the Centre for Research into Civic Society and the CSO Sector within the Higher School of Economics, commented: “Voluntary work is expanding in all areas of life, including social services, the environment, sport, culture, events, medicine, museums, media, emergency services and science. Volunteers all benefit from training in specific skills and abilities, because fundamentally voluntary work is hard work; it is not, as many people might assume, a form of leisure activity. Furthermore, this training is highly effective in improving levels of motivation among volunteers. This in turn benefits society on both a micro-level (for those directly supported by the CSOs) and on a macro-level (for local and regional authorities and the country as a whole).
The Research Centre will shortly be issuing a text book and study materials on volunteering.