Lessons of kindness: stories of Moscow teachers who became volunteers

January 3
Social sector

There are more than 620 volunteer centers in Moscow educational institutions supporting schoolchildren and students in creating good initiatives and projects useful for the city. Of these, 488 centers are in schools, 69 associations — on the basis of universities, and 63 — in colleges. School volunteer groups also work in educational organizations. The volunteer movement in schools and colleges has more than 550 associations counting over 39 thousand people. It is supervised by the Patriot.Sport. Moscow centre. 20 supporting sites, helping teachers and students, were created in each administrative district on the basis of several schools.

Volunteer communities are developed by teachers, who are often engaged in volunteering themselves. They share their volunteer experience with children and motivate them to new achievements. This story is about teachers who both give school knowledge and teach children to do good deeds.

Inspire children through personal experience

Larisa Lebedeva, a teacher-organizer of school No. 667, has been working at school for almost 35 years — and more than 30 of them she is engaged in volunteering at the New Year tree in the Kremlin Palace together with students. She organizes and supports young volunteers who accompany guests, arrange seating in the hall, and help actors.

The teacher sees the main advantages of volunteering in the opportunity to get interesting experiences and communicate with different generations.

"Building communication with each other is very important, and here the volunteer activity helps incredibly. For example, I can inspire my students through personal experience. When I show them photos from events, where I myself participated, children express their delight and ask a lot of questions! Many pupils request to take them along next time or to give an advice where they can participate. So if you have lit up yourself, light up others," says Larisa Lebedeva.

Giving people joy

Eteri Sokhina, a teacher at the Capital's College of Service and Hospitality Industry, became interested in volunteering in 2017, while studying for a master's degree. Her scientific tutor inspired the future teacher to try herself as a volunteer. The most touching event where she took part was the Candle of Memory action in memory of the fallen heroes of the war, and the most beautiful was the cadet ball at the Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Hill.

According to Eteri Sokhina, volunteering helps realize one’s full potential, teaches children and young people to communicate and develops life skills. She herself gets inspiration from volunteering and the opportunity to try herself in different roles. For example, you can become a vaccination assistant, a photographer, or hand around St.George Ribbon at a holiday and just give people joy.

Together with students, the teacher took part in the training programs of the Mosvolontyor center. In the fall of 2020, they joined a series of webinars named ‘Seven Steps in the Development of the Volunteer Centre. Team and Cooperation’ and ‘Interaction with Charity Recipients: Successful Communication’.

"After the training, guys became more confident, they began to study independently the history of the volunteer movement in the world and especially in Russia. They learned how to make checklists, found out who team leaders are and what competencies they possess, what the rules of volunteers behavior at events are, what community-management and the structure of the volunteer movement is," the teacher said.

The students applied their knowledge and experience during the actions as follows: Feed a Friend, Green Office, Well-fed Hare, Congratulate a Veteran, Kind Dictation and others, as well as at the Volunteer of Moscow contest.

Studying with children

Some teachers are involved in volunteering activities by students themselves. Margarita Buchina, a teacher at school No. 2075, joined volunteering in the spring of 2019. A year earlier, tenth graders from her school took part in organizing the events of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Children told her stories about volunteering, and the teacher wanted to become a volunteer herself. Her first event was the Moscow Urban Forum - 2019: the teacher advised guests, communicated with people from different countries, helped navigate the forum, gave a good mood.

Margarita Buchina is teaching additional classes for her students for several years. They study journalism, learn how to make videos and work on camera. In addition, children actively help at volunteer actions, repeatedly participate in contests with environmental projects and win prizes.

"Our circle of volunteers interested in journalism and social issues helped me direct my creative energy to developing in another profession. After all, I studied with the guys. We participated in various media forums, workshops, journalism and photography contests. Sometimes, as an award for participation, we got live meetings in well-known editorial offices with experienced journalists. You can only dream about it!" Margarita Buchina said.

According to her, media volunteering helps her not only be an English teacher, but also realize her potential in journalism. The experience of working as photographer and videographer was useful here. Margarita Buchina spent over 200 hours filming as a volunteer within two years.

"As a media volunteer, I shot Spasskaya Bashnya military music festival, on the City Day at VDNKh, at the Circle of Light festival, took photos of sports marathons participants and volunteers visit to city shelters for homeless animals. It's nice that now my photo works are used as an example at master classes for novice media volunteers. And as a speaker and teacher, I can share my experience with volunteers and tell them how to make a beautiful frame," the teacher noted.

Source: mos.ru

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