Winners of Civil Initiative prizes announced in Moscow
The prize award panel considered a short-list of 78 projects before deciding on 13 winners who each received the “Golden Sprout” statuette and a cash award of 200,000 roubles.
Winners of the “Civil Initiative” prize received their awards in Moscow’s “Russian Song” Theatre, reported the Committee of Civil Initiatives (CCI). The competition winners were chosen by a panel headed by CCI’s Chair, Alexey Kudrin. According to Yulia Gusman, the prize’s Artistic Director, this year’s competition received a record number of nearly 2,000 social projects and citizen initiatives from 75 regions across Russia.
“Each one had its own human story to tell which made choosing the winners extremely difficult. However, what’s much more important is the fact that the number of public-spirited people who are able to empathise with and help their fellow human beings is growing year on year. This makes it impossible for anyone to be a loser in our competition”, said Kudrin.
The winner of the “Shoots of new authority” category was an online activist from Michurinsk “Michurinsk.name – independent publicist”. The aim of this project was to establish an open and constructive dialogue with local Government and State authorities, the scientific and business communities and the general public.
The winner of the “Health of the nation” category was a documentary series called “Maternity Hospital” made by activists from Ekaterinburg. In 2015, the series was awarded the All-Russian prize in the field of perinatal medicine “First people” for best educational project of the year for raising public awareness. A group of volunteer schoolchildren from the Voronezh oblast who were involved in a project called “Kind Hearts” also received an award in the “Stretch out your hand” category.
The winning entry in the “Families of the future” category was a project run by a group of activists from Achinsk called “Everything starts with the family” that aimed to “create the necessary conditions in which family values and family well-being could be enhanced, as well as developing an informed sense amongst adolescents about what it’s like to be a parent by reinforcing the values of social service and being a volunteer”.
The “Auto-Volunteer” project (i.e. the transportation of people and goods by volunteers) in St Petersburg was the winner in the “Someone else’s grief does not happen” category.
A project “There was such a town” in Makhachkala was the winner in the “Spiritual Heritage” category and was aimed at collecting and updating archival information on the life of cities outside the capital, as well as the creation and development of communities.
The winning entry in the “Russia – our common home” category was a project on “Legal aid for refugees from the Ukraine in the Kaluga oblast”. A project “Environmental benefits from recycled material” in Mendeleevsk was the winner in the “Save Life” category. Its aim was to increase collections of separate waste in the Republic of Tatarstan. The Irkutsk project “Let’s try and save the Baikal” was the winner in the “Green Planet” category.
A project called “The last address” was the winner in the “In memoriam” category and was aimed at preserving the memory of all those who have fallen victim to political oppression and State tyranny. Denis Karagodin received an award in the “Breath of freedom” category for his painstaking investigation into the fate of his great-grandfather, Stepan Karagodin, during the years of the Great Terror.
A project on the social and psychological adaptation of disabled people called the “Befriending school” in Nalchik was the winner in the “Pushing the boundaries” category. The winner in the “New word” category was the online project “7×7 Karelia”, a regional outlet of the independent online magazine, “7×7”.
“With the help of these initiatives, we can stop bad things from happening and help those who find themselves in difficult circumstances, continue working closely with Government agencies which exercise civil powers, as well as helping to resolve complex social issues. This country is making great strides thanks in no small measure to the efforts of these people”, said Kudrin. He stressed that the “Civil Initiative” competition had already helped a lot of participants over the years receive project support not just from public-spirited people, but also from local authorities and businesses.
The national “Civil Initiative” prize was introduced by the Committee of Civil Initiatives back in 2013. Its aim is to discover unsung heroes in Russia who, through their own initiative, are trying to change life for the better and who are already achieving tangible results or are on the cusp of so doing.