Over 25,000 Applications Submitted for #InThisTogether International Prize
The Organizing Committee of the #InThisTogether International Prize held its first meeting via videoconference on 12 August. The meeting participants discussed the day-to-day activities of volunteers and the results of the application campaign. More than 25,000 applications have been submitted for the prize, with the ‘Volunteers and NPOs’ track receiving the most applications. The ‘Business’ and ‘Media’ tracks are also popular with some 5,500 people applying. The registration of foreign participants for the prize will continue until September. At present, initiatives have been received from 45 countries. The #InThisTogether International Prize is following up a mutual assistance campaign with the same name.
The co-chairs of the #InThisTogether International Prize Organizing Committee addressed the participants with a welcoming speech: First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova.
Kiriyenko noted the most important achievements by the volunteers: “Over 200,000 volunteers and more than 9,000 organizations across the country have aided those who really needed assistance during the pandemic, and over 6.5 million people have received targeted assistance from the #InThisTogether volunteers and partners. Volunteers help doctors in red zones and educate citizens about vaccination opportunities. Today, #InThisTogether not only provides assistance in combatting coronavirus. Volunteers help the population deal with the aftermath of emergencies, for example, the aftermath of flooding and fires in Crimea, the Transbaikal Territory, and the Tyumen, Irkutsk, and Sverdlovsk Regions.” Kiriyenko noted that the #InThisTogether International Prize Organizing Committee was formed in order to collaborate with major foreign organizations.
Golikova congratulated her colleagues and young people with International Youth Day and reminded them about the mission of the #InThisTogether mutual assistance campaign: “The #InThisTogether mutual assistance campaign was hatched in difficult years and in difficult conditions and has now become a part of our life. I would like to thank everyone who got involved then and remains involved now in the work that we are all doing together.”
Federal Agency for Youth Affairs Director Ksenia Razuvayeva thanked the meeting participants for their joint work and proposed submitting nominees for the International Prize’s Organizing Committee, which is co-chaired by Scientific Research Institute of Emergency Paediatric Surgery and Traumatology President and Doctor of Medical Sciences Leonid Roshal and Naked Heart Foundation Founder and supermodel Natalia Vodianova, to the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs by 15 September. In addition, Razuvayeva invited the Organizing Committee participants to join up with the autumn information campaign of the #InThisTogether International Prize.
Association of Volunteer Centres Chairman of the Board Artem Metelev shared plans with his colleagues for the award and the further development of the volunteer movement in Russia. Per tradition, the award ceremony will take place on 1–5 December at the #InThisTogether International Civic Participation Forum in Moscow. “At present, the projects that have been submitted are going through the expert evaluation stage. This is the quarterfinals of the award. The semi-finals will take place at the #InThisTogether District Dobro.Festivals in five regions of our country. We will kick off the forum with the Dobro.centres conference. Our goal is to open hospitality centres in all 1,117 cities of Russia by 2024,” Metelev said. The forum will also include a programme to provide volunteer and social assistance to people in need: visits to animal shelters, assistance to libraries and the elderly, and school lessons. In five days, more than 70 sessions will be held at the business programme venue, where the forum’s partners will present their achievements and talk about socially beneficial activities.
The discussion was also joined by Russian Red Cross Chairman Pavel Savchuk, Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Maxim Fateyev, Soviet and Russian Paediatrician, Surgeon, and Scientific Research Institute of Emergency Paediatric Surgery and Traumatology President Leonid Roshal, Head of the Executive Committee of the All-Russian Popular Front Mikhail Kuznetsov, Business Russia All-Russia Public Organization Chairman Alexey Repik, Gazprom-Media Holding Deputy General Director Yulia Golubeva, and Roscongress Foundation Chairman of the Board and CEO Alexander Stuglev.
In his speech, Stuglev noted: “The Roscongress Foundation was one of the first to support the campaign among the national business community and additionally among the Foundation’s international partners. For example, a call centre was launched in the shortest possible time to provide medical and psychological assistance to people over 60 years old and people with limited mobility in Russia who were at risk during the pandemic. In addition, people who called the hotline could leave a request for the delivery of food, medicine, pet food, payment for utility bills, and garbage disposal around the clock. Moreover, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021, which took place in June, the Prize was presented at the booth of the Roscongress Foundation’s social platform – the Innosocium Foundation, which made it possible for a wide range of stakeholders to learn about this project.” Stuglev also noted that the winners of the #InThisTogether Prize will be given the opportunity to present their projects at the 25th anniversary of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will be held next year.
The #InThisTogether International Prize includes the following tracks: ‘Volunteers and NPOs’, ‘Business’, ‘Media’ and ‘We Are Together’. The media initiatives that have been proposed in the ‘Business’ and ‘Media’ tracks include projects for environmental protection, missing people searches, care for migrants, and improvements to the urban environment. Many applications were received for the ‘Storytelling’ nomination in which the authors share the stories of people who have changed their lives for the better. The winners of the ‘Media’ track will win a trip in Russia, will be able to create content about life and volunteering in the regions, and become participants in a thematic accelerator. The ‘Business’ track includes the projects of major companies, state corporations, holdings, and representatives of local businesses. Foreign participants for the prize are still being registered today. At present, initiatives have been received from 45 countries, including Germany, Italy, China, Argentina, the United States, Israel, India, Egypt, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The total grant fund of the prize will be RUB 100 million. The winners will receive priority places in the Mobility Programme of the Association of Volunteer Centres and hold professional internships in different regions of the country. The prize offers its laureates the opportunity to claim one of the most prestigious state awards – the ‘For Beneficence’ badge of distinction. The authors of volunteer projects will receive informational support from the prize’s partners: the National Priorities organization, Gazprom-Media Holding, National Media Group, Russian Media Group, RUTUBE, and MAER as well as promotion through social advertising of the leading search engines of the Runet from Internet Development Institute. The prize winners will study educational programs of the Senezh Management Workshop.
The initiative to establish the #InThisTogether International Prize was announced by representatives of the volunteer community at a videoconference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and participants in the #InThisTogether All-Russian Mutual Assistance Campaign on 26 June 2020. The Russian president supported the proposal to establish the prize.