#WEARETOGETHER is a nationwide campaign of mutual support that gives people the opportunity to offer or ask for help. It was organised by the DOBRO.RU platform, Russian Popular Front, the national public movement of Medical Volunteers and Volunteer Centres Association.
The campaign has set up a hotline to help the elderly and people with reduced mobility, where call centre specialists consult people and register their requests for aid on the round the clock basis.
Regional volunteer headquarters, which have opened in all regions, ensure that all requests are fulfilled quickly. Over 118,000 volunteers all over the country help people in need. About 7,000 medical volunteers help their colleagues at 160 healthcare facilities as part of the Assistance to Doctors initiative.
During its implementation, the campaign has gone far beyond the efforts to counter the spread of the coronavirus. Under this slogan, aid is rendered to orphans and veterans, and all those who need support.
The meeting was attended by First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov and Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
Friends and colleagues, before we start our meeting I would like to thank you. My gratitude goes out to all of you, as well as your associates, volunteers, employees of public organisations and NGOs – all generous people who displayed the best human qualities at a difficult time, who selflessly performed good deeds for the sake of life and health of our compatriots at their own initiative. Our people have always had this sincere generosity and compassion, and the readiness to respond to challenges all together.
In cooperation with doctors, nurses and workers in vital industries and life-support systems, all those who stayed at their posts, you have done much to force the threat to recede. This consolidation of society, the pooling of efforts is the main decisive factor in countering this dangerous infection.
During the epidemic, the words “We are together” most certainly became the symbol of hope for our society and the entire country. People knew and felt that they were not alone and that they would not be abandoned if they needed help wherever they live, be it a big city or a small town, a village or a remote territory that is hard to access.
Even the most modest statistics shows that volunteers have provided instrumental and practical support to more than 3 million Russian citizens, primarily those who especially needed care and attention – people with disabilities, severe conditions, and senior citizens.
It should be noted that volunteer initiatives have received extensive support from Russian businesses – from small companies to major private and state-owned corporations that raised, I think, around 1.8 billion rubles.
All of you – volunteers, NGOs and the business community – demonstrated a tangible example of civil responsibility, maturity and solidarity. Of course, I am truly delighted that really very young people, who are only just beginning the journey of their life, have become the driving force of many volunteer projects.
I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate you on the upcoming Youth Day. Congratulations to you and your fellow campaigners – students, young workers, professionals, scientists, scholars and, of course, school pupils and school leavers who will be celebrating graduation all over the country tomorrow. Congratulations!
Friends, thankfully, the epidemic is backing down now and the volunteers’ workload is starting to decrease slowly. You have indeed, thoroughly performed your duties. We are glad to see it and would like to express our gratitude once again. Now that it is summer, it is time to relax with a sense of accomplishment.
But, as far as I am aware, We Are Together centres are not being dispersed just yet. I understand your feelings very well. When there is a tight-knit team of fellow-minded people with experience of working in challenging conditions, people want to take up more tasks and feel the true joy of helping others again and again.
I am certain that you have many ideas and projects, which is wonderful. I will be happy to hear about your further plans today. If you need additional support, please give me the information and we will help you, with pleasure.
Now let’s go through all of the proposed discussion points.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
I would like to conclude as follows.
Your activities are extremely varied – helping the elderly, children and the severely ill, as well as international activities. These are all areas you are engaged in, and none of them is marginal. Everything matters, it has huge significance for our society. It is utterly important that there are people like you who voluntarily take up these issues affecting, without exaggeration, the entire state.
You know, it occurred to me that we all love getting presents, well, nearly everyone does. We are pleased when we are told good words, we always accept with gratitude help and support from our families and even strangers. But it is a hundred times more pleasing and important to help others. When we are doing this, we feel inside that we are becoming better. I am nearly certain that this is the inner spring that sets off your emotions and motivation when you are organising the work you are engaged in.
I sincerely thank you for everything you have done. I want to wish you success, and I am sure that you will do even more.
Thank you very much!