President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
I am pleased to welcome you, the participants of the final stage of the Bolshaya Peremena nationwide contest, to the hospitable Artek. This year, for the first time ever, pupils of the fifth, sixth and seventh grades have joined this big and friendly team.
Today, we will definitely talk about your projects and achievements, but, first of all, I believe it is necessary to greet, in your person, schoolchildren of all ages, as well as college students who have made an important adult decision for themselves, which is to participate in the Bolshaya Peremena contest, and that is 2.5 million young Russians from all regions of our country, large cities and small towns alike.
Bolshaya Peremena is there to help you show what you are made of, your abilities and talents, which I am sure every child and every teenager has. The contest motto very accurately conveys its unparalleled nature and its special attitude towards children: here, they do not assess, but appreciate your outside-the-box ideas that occasionally catch people off guard.
It is not accidental that you were asked to design the school of the future as part of the contest, to describe what it should look like 10 years from now or even in the middle of the 21st century. Our country needs these groundbreaking proposals in order to be able to move forward, so that really big changes could take place in technology, scientific research and our cities and towns.
Russia offers a vast number of opportunities for you. And I am confident that the contest allowed you to get to know your homeland better as you went on virtual tours of our famous museums and cities with their monuments and achievements. The children with the most outstanding projects, the winners of the finals of the Bolshaya Peremena contest, will take a trip across our country by train from Moscow to Vladivostok. They will see the Ural Mountains, Lake Baikal and the Vostochny Cosmodrome, which is part of our plans for studying and exploring outer space, including deep space.
Of course, we must move forward relying on the most important human values. That is why it is so important that many of you, from a very young age, work as volunteers and, of your own accord, without any prompting from anyone, help the elderly, take care of animals, preserve nature, and study the history and culture of your native land. Your responsibility and good deeds improve our country’s well-being. Who, if not you, already at school will create and develop Russia, in which you dream to live, work and study?
To reiterate, I am glad that such a talented, bright and caring generation is growing up in our country. I wish to say a big thank you to Russia’s teacher community, your teachers and mentors who want you to succeed and wish you every success, for their efforts in your upbringing, enlightenment and education.
Special words of gratitude go to your parents and grandparents. I am sure you know how much their love for you means to them, and how important the presence of these caring and loving people like your family mean to you in your life. It may seem occasionally that the people who are closest to you are overly demanding, but I am absolutely sure, they are doing their best and even more to make sure you make it in life, break new ground and find your path in life – an endeavour that you can rise up to, that you really enjoy and that makes you happy as you excel at it. Your family believe in you and know for sure that you will succeed.
Today, in Russia we celebrate Family, Love and Fidelity Day. I congratulate you and your loved ones on this wonderful holiday. Be sure to keep your relationships warm and loving, take care of traditions and values that have always been appreciated in our country all through its history, because the support of the family, your loved ones and friends is your main foothold in life and underlies any success story.
Now, let us discuss your projects and your impressions of this contest.
It is my pleasure to join your event today.