MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Volunteers from the capital not only bring food to pensioners, buy medicines or run errands, but also give the older generation warmth and positive emotions.
The action of mutual aid #We are together continues in Moscow. Five thousand volunteers are ready to help those who are forced to stay at home. Since March 2020, the action has been supported by 28,000 volunteers who have fulfilled more than 150,000 requests from Muscovites. Sergey Sobyanin wrote about this in his account in social network “VKontakte”.
In January, due to the active spread of the omicron strain for the older generation, extended home stay. This means that the capital’s volunteers, participants of the #WeTogether action, have taken up the cause again. Volunteers help pensioners not only with food and medicine. They save their wards from loneliness and even arrange holidays for them.
Volunteers told mos.ru how to support older people who keep home and give pensioners an unexpected gift.
Applause for the poetess
Evgenia Muratova joined the ranks of volunteers even before the start of the pandemic: the girl works for a large state-owned company and participates in corporate charity events. She visits orphanages, collects garbage, helps organize street parties. “I really became a volunteer only in 2020. When I found out about the #WeTogether campaign, I clearly had a desire to join, help, not stand aside, ”admits Evgenia.
From the very first days, the girl was not limited to the task that was written in the application of the headquarters, but took her own initiative. So, once she was instructed to bring food to a lonely elderly woman whose children and grandchildren live in different cities of Russia. Evgenia found out that her ward will turn 80 the other day, and bought a bouquet of flowers from herself. Grandmother was moved to tears.
Another time, the girl came to an elderly poetess, whom she was able to distract from negative thoughts.
“Shortly before the visit, my ward injured her leg. She came to me with a stick, apologized for a long time that she was not receiving me at the parade and could not arrange a secular reception. Then, to distract her, I asked her to read poetry, and she gladly agreed. This attention was important to her, ”recalls Evgenia.
From the point of view of a girl, when you help people, you set an example for others and thereby multiply goodness. According to her, even an ordinary post on social networks is volunteering. “Let two out of 100 follow you, but this is an achievement,” says Evgenia Muratova.
Interlocutor for teachers
Aziz Jabarov is the director of a theater company and organizer of musicals. But in the volunteer service, he leaves aside all the regalia and becomes just a fighter of the invisible front, who is imbued with every case and is always ready to listen to his wards.
“I am an active person, I cannot sit idly by. When the lockdown began in 2020, our theatrical activities came to a halt. And I decided to benefit the society,” recalls the volunteer.
He was so fascinated by volunteering that even after returning to his work, Aziz continued to help people. According to him, for the majority of the older generation of citizens, milk and aspirin are not as necessary as live contact.
“Somehow I happened to bring food to an elderly couple over 70. They taught together at the university before quarantine, traveled. Their only daughter has been living in Germany for a long time, and there are no relatives in Russia. I went to them once, then another, and then we began to call each other. Now we talk on the phone for a long time, Tatyana Rafailovna tells me about the countries she has visited, about how she gives lessons online. I always find time for her, ”the man shares.
Aziz admits that among those who order products at the headquarters of #WeTogether, there are many pensioners who are actually looking for an interlocutor. “Communication is also a help,” he says.
Hotels for the captain
Logistician Mikhail Dagaev and lawyer Artem Simonov literally specialize in heavy orders. In their cars, men deliver packages weighing 15–20 kilograms (including to those neighborhoods where there are no large stores within walking distance).
“Before the New Year, I happened to bring a huge bag of groceries to two grandmothers in their 80s. They are representatives of the Moscow intelligentsia, they have lived all their lives in the very center of the city, but for the holiday they ordered the simplest food: pasta, marshmallows, bagels. When I brought the products, they shone and even seemed to rejuvenate, ”recalls Mikhail.
Once he was given the task of delivering a large bag of gifts to the wife of a former captain of the first rank. The husband observed the regime of self-isolation in the Sokol district, and the wife was admitted to the hospital in Solntsevo. The man, who was over 70, could not visit his wife on his own and carry heavy loads. “Then he turned to me more than once, and at the same time showed me the dictionary of naval jargon, which he is now working on,” says the volunteer.
Artem notes that not only bags are heavy, but also the emotions that you get in the course of work. “My heart bleeds when you see an old woman with bandaged legs, who finds it hard to reach the door to meet me. And one of my grandmother moves around the apartment in a wheelchair. He asks me to call her on the phone before I get up so that she can get there, ”says the young man.
But Artyom and Mikhail volunteered at the call of their hearts. They knew what was ahead of them, so they steadfastly withstand the psychological stress.
“Is it hard for me? I do not think about it. Each of us can be in this position. If we don’t help the old people now, then no one will take care of us later,” Artem Simonov is sure.
I want to volunteer!
Anyone can become a hero, regardless of age. Only students under the age of 14 will need official permission from their parents. To join the volunteer movement, you need to register on the website of the resource center “Mosvolunter” and choose the area of interest.
The help of volunteers is needed on various fronts. There are 10 volunteering profiles in the capital: social, event, cultural, sports, patriotic, environmental, medical, media, as well as donation and public safety.
In addition, you can join the #WeTogether campaign on the dobro.ru project website: decide on the type of activity (helping doctors or delivering food and medicine), take a short online course, get a volunteer certificate and sign up for face-to-face instruction at the headquarters.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.