At the venue of the international #WeAreTogether awards ceremony, Vladimir Putin joined the all-Russia New Year Tree of Wishes charitable campaign. The President picked three decorations-postcards with New Year wishes from disadvantaged children.
The New Year Tree of Wishes campaign has been taking place nationally since 2018 and has fulfilled over 106,000 children's wishes over this time. The campaign is run by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and the Movement of the First national social-state movement of children and youth.
The President also talked to the Volunteer of the Year 2023 award nominees and contest winners from previous years.
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Speech at the ceremony for presenting the International #WeAreTogether award
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
I will begin with the numbers. I was just informed about something that caught me by surprise: 39,000 applications from 95 countries represent an enormous army of volunteers who refer to our country as a land of volunteers which is true, because a quarter of our country’s population – 25 percent of the country’s citizens – are members of over 100,000 volunteer organisations.
This is no accident. A sense of involvement and willingness to help those in need have always been part of the traditions and culture of the peoples of the Russian Federation throughout the history of our country and have been passed on from generation to generation. Our meeting today is taking place in the run-up to Volunteer Day– congratulations…
Today, you work in almost all spheres of our society, including healthcare, environment, education, to name a few. But of course – I am addressing primarily the Russian audience – I would like to thank you for what you do to support our servicepeople on the front lines of the fight for our country, Russia. You help them on the front lines and help their families, their mothers, fathers, wives, and children. Thank you for that. This is one of the main tasks today. You have my deepest respect for that. Thank you very much.
It is difficult to be the best of the best, almost impossible. Well, the award itself, the Volunteer of the Year category, is somewhat symbolic, but still, it is a well-deserved symbol. Traditionally, this is not the first year I am presenting this award to the best volunteer of the year. I will do it with great pleasure. And I invite the winner to join me on the stage.
Congratulating the winners, I would like to address everyone in the audience, everyone who has received awards and was recognised in the competition for their achievements. And I would like to conclude with what was just said. The competition is called #WeAreTogether, and as long as we stay together, we are invincible!