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Training Volunteers from Russia and Beyond

'Volunteer 2018' the 5th annual International Youth School of Volunteers was run by the Institute of Social Science and Mass Communication's Theology Faculty Belgorod State University

The annual event is sponsored by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh). The theme for this year was 'Using Social Media in Event Planning'. Event planning is the most common type of volunteer activity, and is used in all areas of the voluntary sector, whether it involves education, poverty, ethnicity, health, or the environment. The School now attracts more than half its participants from outside Belgorod. This year's selection process was successfully negotiated by students from Simferopol, Smolensk, Kirov, Volgograd, Kursk, Lipetsk, Voronezh, Perm, and Samara. Not all those who attended were from Russia. Other nationalities included students from Moldova, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Belarus, and Ukraine. In this way, the program is able to promote international friendship while teaching the techniques of social inclusion. Dr Ksenia Koroleva, the School's Director, was excited by the prospect, saying,

We are glad that we can offer a program comparable to the best such Schools across Russia. The successful applicants for this years School have experience in voluntary social work in different areas. This year, we predict a new way of working, with social media platforms allowing instant feedback and real-time reactions from colleagues and users.

She was assisted by Milena Ilchenko, the Event Coordinator, and a past winner of the National Youth Project Competition. The first project partners were the Ray of Light Charitable Foundation, who work with children with musculoskeletal problems, and their families. The Foundation's work is unique to our Region, and there are very few Foundations of this type in the whole Federation. It is this type of expertise that the School is all about, and students had a lot to learn in the workshops, lectures and seminars that ran for a week until 7th December.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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