Big Volunteer Week

Active 2017-2019 (temporarily suspended).

During Big Volunteer Week hundreds of people have a chance to stop pushing their volunteering aspirations back and start helping those who really need a hand right away.

If you seek self-realization, want to help someone or do something important for the world, are willing to meet new friends, see your city or town in a new light or visit new places, – then this project is for you.  

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The first Perm Big Volunteer Week was organized in summer 2017 with more than 30 nonprofits getting help and 200-plus first-time volunteers giving it. Perm City Culture Center was the main office, from which up to 7 volunteer teams were sent to support local initiatives and projects at any time each day of the week. The week ended in a cozy party for all participants.

Here’s a video of one day of Big Volunteer Week:

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And here are a few memories from the event

One of the volunteers was sent to help workers of a children’s palliative care ward as part of Dedmorozim charity campaign. She was so excited by this type of work that she decided to enroll in a medical school. After two months, she did become a student – on top of it, a full-time one!

We had a request from a wheelchair user who asked us, “It’d be so nice to have someone who could take me outside from time to time”. We didn’t expect to receive such a call but of course we found an enthusiast who helped the woman go outside more often. We expect to include this specific, individualized type of aid in the plan of the next Big Volunteer Week.

There are numerous small rivers in Perm. One of them is called Danilikha, which is right in the heart of the city – and it’s also the one where an active young man organized a collaborative design event for his local community in an effort to turn a littered river bank into a park. He and his neighbors studied the area and made a project draft which then was going to be improved by professionals and eventually made into reality with the help from local authorities.

We had a message from a woman who was concerned about the poor condition of a local wooden heritage building (a 19th-century dacha). In order to attract media attention, we organized a community cleanup next to the building. The local authorities and media did become interested – and, as a result, the information was spread through the news and some activists were invited by the administration to discuss the future of the building.

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We were inspired by the experience of many activists from other countries (e.g. those from Brussels, Belgium) and are the first who organized Big Volunteer Week in Russia. We’ll be glad to tell you more about our experience or give detailed instructions on how to make it happen in your city or town as well! Just write Any.

Big Volunteer Week is a collaboration of three local initiatives: the friendliest volunteer community in town, Volunteer Perm, Perm State National Research University Volunteer Center and “I want to help” public page on VK.