2018 is the Year of Volunteers in Russia. Christina Ugolnikova, head of the Center for Social and Professional Volunteering of TSU UNIVOL, told us about its areas of work and plans for the future: the launch of the Universiade's 2019 regional headquarters, the development of international volunteer programs, and interaction with local non-profit organizations.
- The history of volunteering at TSU is more than 90 years. On April 1, 1925, at the University, the student society Friends of Children was founded to combat homelessness. 38 students from all faculties became patrons of the children and helped them to socialize, - said Christina Ugolnikova. - In 2017, 750 of our volunteers and Tomsk citizens took part in more than 120 events. The first contemporary volunteer organization Initiative has been active for 9 years.
Now TSU is developing four main areas of volunteering: social (visits to orphanages, the annual festival of children's creativity “UP”, and other projects); cultural (assistance in holding creative events); ecological (fire brigade at TSU, international volunteer eco camp ECO CAMP TSU), and events (assistance in organizing events).
In 2017, UNIVOL volunteers performed more than 30 social requests from TSU and 20 from local organizations. The Regional headquarters of the 29th World Winter Universiade - 2019 in Krasnoyarsk was opened, as part of UNIVOL . In 2018 the headquarters plans to train a team of volunteers, and among the 25 team members will be TSU students.
- A new major area is international volunteering, - said Kristina. - Since 2017, UNIVOL has been accredited as part of the European Commission's ERASMUS + program European Volunteer Service. It supports the participation of young people in various forms of volunteering, both in the European Union and beyond. At TSU, international students are assisted by TSU-online volunteers, which is also an example of international volunteering.
TSU also has a program of volunteer practicums. It is an opportunity for a student to help a non-profit or non-governmental organization for a long period (from two to three weeks).
- Students can try themselves at working with children, with animals, in ecology, and in a healthy lifestyle, - emphasized Christina. - Volunteers can choose the organization and area of work, based on their interests and desires. The organization that hosts the student finds an active assistant and new ideas for its projects and actions and draws attention to their activities. The student also gets work experience and applies special knowledge gained at university - in IT, journalism and PR, jurisprudence, psychology, and other areas, and develops the competencies necessary for future professional work.
TSU has three basic volunteer organizations: Initiative, the Center for Social and Professional Volunteerism UNIVOL, and TSU-online (which is a part of the International Relations Office).
For all additional questions, you can contact the UNIVOL center at +7 (3822) 529-155, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, address: 34A Lenin Ave., (office 64.4).