Transcript of a news conference on the Year of Kindness: 2018 World Cup Volunteer Program

Transcript of a news conference on the Year of Kindness: 2018 World Cup Volunteer Program

Moderator (Moscow): Good afternoon and welcome to the Moscow City Press Center for a news conference on the Year of Kindness: 2018 World Cup Volunteer Program. Our videoconference will connect all the city press centers in the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Good afternoon, colleagues in the other host cities.

I will now present the participants in our news conference. Tatyana Gomzyakova, Head of the Volunteer Department at the Local Organizing Committee and member of the Organizing Committee of the Year of Volunteers in Russia. Ksenia Razuvayeva, Head of the Directorate of the Year of Volunteers in Russia. Anton Kalinin, a volunteer of the Local Organizing Committee. And our youngest participant is Vera Baukina, a volunteer of the Russian Schoolchildren Movement.

Our guests have prepared a short video about volunteer work. Let us watch it now.

Thank you. Tatyana, you have the floor. Tell us more about the volunteer program, please. Why is it unique?

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Thank you very much. I am delighted to welcome all of you. The first thing I would like to do is express our gratitude to the volunteers. The World Cup ended yesterday… It was preceded by three years of efforts to implement the volunteer program, the concept of which we approved on July 7, 2015. Today I can tell you that we have implemented it nearly in full as stipulated in that concept. There were 50 processes in the roadmap for the implementation of the volunteer program, and all of them have been completed. Of course, we had a huge team working to implement this program.

It was then that a decision was set out in this document: to set up volunteer centers in higher education institutions to help us attract and recruit volunteers. This task was also implemented.

I see my colleagues in the audience here today, and would like to say a big thank you to them. These 15 volunteer centers did so much. We started to accept applications on June 1, 2016, and received more than 176,000 applications. The volunteer centers made a major contribution to selecting volunteers. There were 17,000 volunteers recruited by the Organizing Committee, and more than 18,000 city volunteers, for a total of more than 35,000 volunteers. We have here with us representatives of the city volunteer programs, and I would like to say that it was an essential element of the volunteer program. You did a great job. I'm very pleased that these two teams worked together from the outset. I think that it was the right decision, and a prerequisite for success, since the volunteers recruited by the Organizing Committee and the host cities were always working side by side, which was great. Of course, it makes no difference to people visiting the World Cup whether they are dealing with volunteers representing the Organizing Committee or the host city. They were all volunteers — period. The entire team of 35,000 people did a great job, which is great.

On the slide you can see our roadmap. The selection process took place in 2015 and 2016. This was a key period for the program. In 2017 Russia hosted the Confederations Cup, when the volunteers got their training. There were a number of other events as well related to the World Cup that involved volunteers, and of course the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking of a volunteer profile, what can we say? Just as at the Olympic and Paralympic games the average age of the volunteer was 24 years, with 64 women and 36 percent men. Volunteers came from 85 Russian regions, and seven percent of the total came from abroad, representing 112 countries, and in each case it is a fascinating story. We have just said goodbye to these people, and I even want to name some of them, including Lucy from Nigeria or Nicholas from Germany, who left over the past two days, since Nicholas was in St. Petersburg, and Lucy was in Moscow. They are so great. We had a large international team where everyone became really close, and I think that they will keep in touch.

During the World Cup we also had a motivation and training program at the volunteer centers in all 12 stadiums, holding more than 350 events in total: training sessions, various culture festivals, healthy lifestyle activities and environmental awareness campaigns. It gives me pleasure to say that volunteers have remained engaged. You may have heard to the environmental campaign to clean up Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad, and in Sochi volunteers are also involved in environment protection initiatives. It is great that volunteers do not want to stop and want to keep going. Why stop? Volunteering has many dimensions, which is great. They are highly dedicated to what they do, and we literally had to say goodbye with tears in our eyes. We held farewell events in almost all host cities to thank our volunteers and bid them farewell until future undertakings. I'm very pleased that we will meet volunteers very soon and will continue to do good.

So this is what I wanted to say so far, and I will gladly take your questions. As I have already said, the volunteer stories we had are truly fascinating.

I would like to give the floor to Anton from Khabarovsk. He has been with us since 2015.

This is really impressive. Go ahead, Anton.

Anton Kalinin: Thank you very much, Tatyana. I will introduce myself again. I am Anton from Khabarovsk.

I was lucky to take part in the first event held within the framework of the World Cup. It was the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

It was then that I started gathering experience and where I learned a great deal, because there was little time and only a few volunteers. We had to act as quickly as possible, organizing the work of volunteers who did not work together before. I believe we did well. I will never forget that first event.

I was also lucky to attend the final event of the World Cup, the final match. This is when my life changed dramatically for several reasons.

First, I have proved to my family that voluntary work is useful, because before that they had a skeptical view on it, just as the majority of my friends. They didn't understand our work. It's difficult to explain why we do this and what result we expect from our work. The first question everyone asked is, "What do you need this for?" It is a baffling question, which we want to answer by telling people about the impressions, emotions and new acquaintances this work offers. But it is not always that we succeed in doing this.

My father, who did not want me to go to the World Cup, was the first to phone me to ask how I was doing. I remember telling him, "Dad, I am so proud of my country." This is really so, we were so proud indeed. I am glad that so many people, so many fans have come to our country. We are hospitable people. I believe we have demonstrated our hospitality very well, showing that we are ready for the event and attaining the goals set to us.

A second important element is that I have made new acquaintances and friends. I believe I can carry this experience with me for the rest of my life and share my impressions not only with my friends but also with my future children.

I hope the World Cup will return to Russia again, and that my children will apply to be volunteers and then they will tell their children about the wonderful stories that happened to them during the tournament.

Another lucky event has happened to me during the Cup. I couldn't find love for a long time. I have met a girl during this tournament, and I fell in love with her, and she fell in love with me. It was love at first sight for both of us.

If you want to add color to your life and leave good memories behind, become a volunteer. This is my recommendation. Thank you very much.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you. Ksenia, it's your turn. Go ahead.

Ksenia Razuvayeva: Good afternoon, friends. It's very good to see so many familiar faces.

Take no notice of my voice — I have a cold. It is a result of the past month, because the amount of emotions produced by this… It was not just a championship; it was a miracle that happened in our country. It is very nice that the success of this event depended on volunteers to a large degree. I witnessed their professional and considerate attitude, because I attended many matches. I was really impressed by the standards of their training.

As I talked with Tatyana before this press conference, I asked her how it was after the Sochi Olympics, to which she directly contributed. Here is what she told me: "It was more difficult during the Olympics, and it was simpler this time." She meant that the standards of competence and technology have risen so high that we find it simpler to deal with such major events as this tournament. We are not only  capable of holding such events but we can hold them at the highest level possible and do it better than any other country in the world, even if some would say I have gone too far this time.In fact, it is symbolic that the World Cup coincides with the Year of Volunteers in Russia, because, if we recall the Olympics once again, such events make an invaluable contribution to the development of the entire movement. We get technology and a certain systematization of the movement, as well as new training programs, motivation, and fresh approaches in general. In this sense, I believe that the World Cup is a new step for us, the results of which we do not yet fully experience, but will see later. And I would like to once again thank the entire team of volunteers in Russia, everyone present here, heads of the volunteer centers, and to personally thank Tatyana Gomzyakova, for the miracle you gave all of us, all who live in Russia. Thank you for the miracle and for the happiness, because I think we have been feeling very happy for the whole month.

I will speak about the numbers a bit. Honestly, I wondered whether I should mention them or not. Only yesterday, colleagues from the Public Opinion Foundation, knowing that we had a news conference today, sent me the latest data of the research we are carrying out in collaboration with the foundation, as part of the Year of Volunteers, to see the dynamics and the overall development of the volunteer movement in Russia. I think the figures we have today are thanks to the World Cup, because the attention paid to the volunteers during the preparation stage also played a role. So I will go to the statistics. I did not want to do this because they are so good that we are going slightly ahead of the schedule: we had a certain KPI planned for the results of the Year of Volunteers, and now we are ahead of it.

We have two main indicators. The first one shows the share of people 18 plus who identify themselves as volunteers, which means they participate regularly in volunteer activities and share the volunteer values of mutual aid. As of the end of last year, this share was about 7-8 percent, but after the first six months of this year it is 10-11 percent, so you can see significant growth.

The second indicator that has also grown a lot, and it is a pleasure to see this, is the share of citizens who take part, one way or another, in volunteer activities. Of course, I am not talking about regular participation, but still, people who know something about this subject can distinguish between different types of volunteering and understand what it means to participate in volunteer activities. And they have taken part in it several times, on an intermittent basis.

If last year this number was about 18 percent, this year it is about 22 percent, which means we are growing quickly and also in terms of quality. So thanks everyone once again, because, of course, it is also due to the World Cup volunteer program.

I will try to give details of more statistics, as well as several initiatives we have this year, and after that, I think, we will answer questions. I will try to be brief.

First, I would like to say that it is no coincidence that Vera is here today, you can see that she is very excited. Vera, I will give you the floor a bit later. Vera is a winner in the Kindness Never Has Vacations contest, because we try to involve people of different ages. You know that volunteering knows no borders. It involves children, like Vera here, adults, and senior people — "silver volunteers." In the early summer we launched the Kindness Never Has Vacations contest that is held in every Russian region and involves all 37,000 school camps as well as Russian centers such as Artek, Orlyonok, and Okean, and all the children who want to try their hand at volunteering. As of today, we have more than 6,000 good deeds carried out by children like Vera, which we can see online. Vera, you will have the floor a bit later. This comes first.

Second, we have held a very large event which we used to sum up some results of the first six months. I mean a large volunteer festival. Perhaps many of you took part in it: it was held in Sokolniki Park and gathered more than 10,000 volunteers from across Russia, as well as 160,000 people from Moscow. It is noteworthy that we implement a certain practice in all our events, including the festival in Sokolniki: we had a useful program involving all the children who came from regions, and with almost 30 different venues in Moscow and the Moscow Region.

Children have come not only to sum up the results and take part in an important event, but also to do some good and make their contribution to it. They went to hospices, talked with children in orphanages, cleaned rivers in the Moscow Region and did about 100 good deeds at different venues. This is also very important. In fact, volunteers came to show who they are.

In addition to the large volunteer festival, I should also mention the events held in May: the traditional Immortal Regiment procession. This year, there has been an increase in the number of people of different ages involved in the Victory Day celebrations, and 160,000 Victory Volunteers took part in organizing the largest Immortal Regiment procession so far.

I would also like to note that we have launched the Volunteers of Russia national contest held in all the Russian regions. The results of the contest are announced at the end of the year, on December 5, on International and Russian National Volunteer Day. We award the most active and bright volunteers. As of today, we have already received 10,000 projects, and applications can be sent through August 15, so we invite everyone to participate to get support for their interesting social initiatives.

In conclusion, I would like to say something more about the forum and December 5, the events that will be held at the end of the year. In addition to the Volunteer of Russia award, there will be a final forum with 15,000 participants from all over Russia. We will announce the year's results. We hope that the World Cup volunteer program will play an important part in this event. It will also provide an opportunity to summarize and to award the most active participants.

And, of course this year is unique (for one thing, thanks to the World Cup and the global attention being paid to Russia) and the forum will be not only Russian, but international for the first time. We will see about 1,000 foreign volunteers working under the UN program, because the UN colleagues are our partners now, and the forum will be international. This means we are expanding our borders and have the chance to share what we have in Russia… We have great potential and extensive experience in developing the volunteering movement, so we have something to share. The deputy director of the UN Volunteers program attended the St. Petersburg forum in late May and called Russia a volunteer state. We were very pleased to hear this.

I think I will finish my speech, because I have been talking for a long time and there is more to tell. If there are any questions I am ready to answer. And, as promised, I will give the floor to Vera, who will speak about her life and the Kindness All Year Round contest. Thank you.

Vera Baukina: I will say that this contest, Kindness All Year Round, has been launched so that children — even children — can do good and understand why they need to do it. It is so that children understand that some children feel bad and they need help, and the person who helps others is called a volunteer. People are called volunteers because they do good things, and other people feel good because of this. There are also people who forget about others and treat people in an entirely different manner, which is, of course, nothing to thank them for. A volunteer is someone who does something good just for the sake of it and not for money or something valuable, only because they want and like to do so… This is the Year of Volunteers, the year of people who like to do good things and want to do them, and it is held for everyone to do so. Similar contests are held in social networks for everyone, children and adults alike, to do good things.

This is what I wanted to say. To keep it short, I would like to pass the floor to the last participant.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you so much, Vera. Now let's move to the Q&A session. Please raise your hand, if you have a question. Don't forget to introduce yourself.

Question: Hello, my name is Maria Lazareva. I'm a member of the Russian Schoolchildren Movement. I wanted to ask what the future holds for media volunteers? What are the advantages for media volunteers? Thank you.

Ksenia Razuvayeva: What motivates youngsters who volunteer is primarily being able to serve their community and to do good things. This is definitely the main source of motivation for everyone, which has been proven by multiple studies. At the same time, the opportunity to experience something new and acquire new skills, including professional competences, can be regarded as an additional motivating factor for all young volunteers. We have medical volunteering, and many benefited from their services, since these volunteers help in hospitals. We have environmental activists, and an expedition is about to leave for Lake Baikal. They will clean up the lake, and will get a certificate recognizing their skills in environmental volunteering. This project is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. As for media volunteering, this is another success story. By the way, children took part in the work of 2018 FIFA World Cup press centers in various regions. Children and adults saw how they work and helped. Of course, this is primarily an opportunity to get some invaluable experience. If any of the youngsters want to work in the media, which offers so many options these days, by volunteering they can acquire unique skills and get to know things they may never come across even as media professionals. So they get an opportunity to learn all this while still very young. This is the main advantage of being involved, expanding experience, skills and engage along this professional path.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you. Let's now give the floor to other cities. To Kaliningrad first. Good day to you, Alisa!

Moderator (Kaliningrad): Good day, Svetlana, and hello to our colleagues. Thank you very much for this fascinating video conference, and a special thank you to Tatyana for mentioning the environmental project on the Curonian Spit. And thank you Ksenia for sharing all these useful and inspiring data. Here's our question: Everyone saw so many volunteers in the streets of 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts cities, and many people would just come up and ask them how to become a volunteer? So what should a person who wants to become a volunteer do, where do they sign up? And another question to you as the organizers of the volunteer movement: how to you keep up this incredible momentum? Thank you.

Ksenia Razuvayeva: To answer your question on starting out as a volunteer, there is an easy way. The entire volunteer community came together to develop an effective mechanism. There is now a platform called Добровольцыроссии.рф (Volunteers of Russia), which provides an Uber-like experience for volunteers, on one side, and those who need volunteers, on the other. As of today, more than 140,000 youngsters have registered on the website, and can help their community every day. This is a single database for those who need the help of volunteers, and those willing to offer it. So if you want to become a volunteer and don't know how, and need an easy-to-understand tool to give you some kind of a plan of action, go to Добровольцыроссии.рф. Among other things, this platform includes all the latest information on what is happening in the volunteer movement, and the developments in this field. The contest that I have already mentioned here, called Volunteers of Russia, is designed to help identify and support outstanding volunteer practices and projects in Russia. This project is also carried out using Добровольцыроссии.рф platform, so we are looking forward to seeing you there. Thank you very much.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much. And here is another question from the audience.

Question (via interpreter): Good afternoon. Can you answer a question from my Sky Sports television company? Does anyone speak English here?  Can any of the three speakers sum up the positive and negative results of the last five weeks in some way?

Tatyana Gomzyakova: May I answer in Russian? If possible, we can reply to you in English during the press point. All right, I will simply speak Russian, yes. OK, we will now start interpreting. Ulyana, please help us with the interpretation.

Moderator (Moscow): He has the required equipment, and he can hear the interpreter.

Tatyana Gomzyakova: First, I would like to say a few words about the specifics of the volunteer program, its achievements and setbacks. Indeed, I can say that the volunteer program has its own specifics, and it is quite unique. We received an unprecedented number of applications in the entire World Cup history. We have integrated two programs: that of the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee and the city volunteers program.

Here is a very important aspect: we have developed and launched a mobile app for volunteers that helped us during our operations. This includes quick communication with volunteers, ways of providing them with essential information, and this, too, happened for the first time in the World Cup's history. It is very important that we planned in advance that 80 percent of volunteers would come from the 11 host cities. This means that these volunteers as the residents of these cities represented their cities in the best possible way and they will continue to work as volunteers in these 11 host cities. The situation was completely different during the Olympic and Paralympic games when 75 percent of volunteers came from other places. And now, residents of the 11 host cities account for 80 percent of our volunteers. Speaking of our plans, we have implemented them, and this is really great. Those young people who worked as World Cup volunteers will, certainly, continue to involve their friends, acquaintances, etc. in volunteer activities.  When I saw their bright eyes, I realized that this won't pass, that they will continue, and this is great. This is a certain aspect of our legacy. Speaking of volunteer centers that were established, they will continue to operate.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much. And now, we give the floor to Samara. Good afternoon, colleagues.

Moderator (Samara): Good afternoon, Svetlana, colleagues. We are happy to greet you. We would also like to greet all city press centers. My colleague Inna Murga wants to ask a question. You now have the floor, please.

Question: Good afternoon, Moscow, colleagues in other cities.

The World Cup has become a huge holiday for the entire country, but the 11 host cities were in the thick of the events. I would like to ask our speakers about the preparations. Was there any city-specific volunteer training?

Thank you.

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Volunteer training is a very important process. It includes three stages: general trainings, functional trainings (because there are 20 functional areas, such as medicine, work with spectators, transportation, language services, and protocols, really a lot), and on-site trainings. Our stadiums are large. They are mostly new, so it is not easy to learn about them. So there certainly are specifics depending on the city.

First, general trainings are held both for the city volunteers and volunteers from the Local Organizing Committee. This helped, first, to integrate the two teams, and second, of course, to learn the specifics of the city, if we are talking about them. And we can see clearly that if a volunteer works at the stadium in a certain role, it does not mean visitors will ask them questions about their job and the place they work. No, the questions are very different. Of course, they are related to city sightseeing and so on. Everything was covered during the general trainings.

Functional trainings concern specific roles. Their length depended on the role.

Trainings at facilities are also important. Test events helped us to learn the facilities and the stadiums. And, of course, we continued to hold these trainings before the World Cup.

So, speaking about the preparations: it is a long period that started with the preparations for the Confederations Cup to the first days of the World Cup.

Trainings were also held online for volunteers from other cities and countries, at an educational platform with the same materials and even tests on various topics.

Moderator: Thank you very much.

The next question is from the audience. Please, young man, your question.

Question: Good afternoon. Dmitry Pluzhnikov, Rossiyskiye Novosti newspaper. I managed to visit nine cities during the World Cup, but, unfortunately, there was no time to visit Volgograd. Each city has its pros and cons, including in the organization of the city press centers. But volunteers helped me everywhere I went. This is a miracle that cannot be explained, even, "Let us carry your bag to the metro." I said, "No thanks." And other things. Thank you very much. And I also have a proposal to hold a survey and vote for the best host city press center and award it. At least, there is a best one for me.

Thank you.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you. A question, please, from the first row.

Question: Thank you. Oleg Romanovsky, journalist from the Ekograd magazine and Moscow volunteer in two areas, including media.

So, my question is… Once I analyzed why I became a volunteer. I realized that I've be participating in the movement for some 20 years. Well, to be honest, this time I had a selfish interest. My birthday is July 9. I thought about where I wanted to spend it and decided at the World Cup with these amazing people. I am not sorry one bit.

My questions are about me being here and interacting with volunteers, because such interaction is a wonderful thing. I have the following question: Vera and I are an exception to the statistic of 24-year-olds, unfortunately. Do we have a chance for further growth and interaction given that we are out of the average age range? This is my first question. And the second, I have met many various categories of volunteers, including those in railway and air transport, and others. Will there be any coordination between these groups? And one more question and request. Vera is from St. Petersburg; is it possible that someone would show her Moscow? She has not seen much of it. I asked her about it. Thank you.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you.

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Thank you very much for the wonderful comment and the wonderful question. I will begin and Ksenia will continue, I think. It is true, the average age is 24, but I have so much respect for and I am so thankful to the senior volunteers. There were some 2-3 percent of older volunteers among the organizing committee volunteers, and I think there was the same number in the city volunteer group. They are such wonderful people. You think there were more? Yes, maybe, depending on the city. The prospects are huge actually. Because, for instance, if we compare the World Cup with the Vancouver Olympics or the London Olympics, the average age was different there. In Vancouver, the average age was 40. In London it was 36. Here the number of senior volunteers is growing too. What I like the most is that 15 percent of those taking part in our program are working people. Anton represents this age group. This is very good. Yes, you need to take a vacation to come to the World Cup, but as compared with the Sochi Olympics, the number of such people has grown. I think this is huge progress, and it is amazing. It means that corporate volunteering is developing in Russia, which is very good.

More working people are getting involved in such major events as the World Cup. It is also great and important that family volunteering was also represented at the tournament. That is, all three generations: grandparents, parents, and their children or grandkids. We had many such families at the World Cup. For instance, one young couple worked as volunteers in Kaliningrad. They came there from another city with a child and worked shifts. There are many such examples. So volunteering unites generations, and it is wonderful.

Ksenia Razuvayeva: I would like to add something and bring the conversation to a more practical level. First, I must say that there have been many silver volunteers, especially in the past three years. The notions of staying active as they get older and of mentoring seem to be in tune with people in our. The increasing number of silver volunteers in all projects, including the Kazan Universiade, Sochi Olympics, the World Cup and the World Festival of Youth and Students, where the oldest volunteer was 87, is proof of this. Silver volunteers play a huge role in the current projects as well. We have a relevant program, Young at Heart, for senior volunteers, and I would like to invite you all to the International Day of Older Persons, marked on October 1. It will be marked by the National Forum of Senior Volunteers in Bashkortostan. It will bring together 1,000 senior volunteers from all over the country, and I think you should come too. You are invited without competitive selection. This is the first…

Second. I do not want to reveal all the secrets too early, but all October will be… It is clear that we are developing volunteerism the whole year, but this October we will step up the program on senior volunteering, Young at Heart, which will include an entire range of various events. We will launch several large projects, including jointly with large companies that aim to involve more senior citizens in their activities, people who are ready to share their invaluable life experience. We will speak about this a bit later. But we will focus on it this October.

I would also like to say that the Association of Volunteer Centers together with us, the Year of Volunteers Organizing Committee, has launched a contest in the pilot regions where resource centers to support silver volunteering in particular will be established by the end of this year. By that time, we will have 15 such centers, which will serve as integration points for all the activities of senior volunteers and their support in the regions. A bit later we will announce the winners of this contest. There will be 15 such centers by the end of the year.

This is the outlook, to put it shortly. We will take Vera on a tour around Moscow, there is no question about it. Thank you.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much. Let us give the floor to Ekaterinburg. Good afternoon, colleagues.

Moderator (Ekaterinburg): Svetlana, good afternoon. Good afternoon to all the participants. I will give the microphone to my colleague, Konstantin Yermolayev. Go ahead.

Question: Good afternoon. I have a question for Tatyana. Would you comment on how the Organizing Committee, FIFA and fans assess the volunteers' work?

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Thank you very much for this question. In fact, we have received a lot of positive feedback about the volunteers' activity. Several days ago, FIFA President Gianni Infantino put on the volunteer uniform and thanked all the volunteers for their contribution to organizing the World Cup, or, to put it differently, awarded us high marks.

Yesterday, during the final event, Gianni Infantino also thanked us, as well as Arkady Dvorkovich, Alexei Sorokin, and the management of the Local Organizing Committee and FIFA.

Speaking about fans, we have also, as I've already said, received a lot of positive feedback. Fans wrote about various situations, sometimes difficult ones, when volunteers helped them solve issues. Sometimes these situations… You know, you can only answer a question or you can help, and this would be super-help. You do not only give directions, but go together, help and show the way, because sometimes our fans came to find no accommodation that they had planned in advance, or had various problems with tickets, and so on.

So, if we are speaking about an assessment, the volunteers were excellent. It was a really good result. But it is also very important that volunteers themselves see their part in the World Cup in the same way. They have evaluated the Organizing Committee, and this evaluation had several criteria, such as service (we provided catering, equipment, accommodation for volunteers from other cities and countries, and transportation in the 11 host cities) and, of course, how the volunteers were managed.

Speaking about this assessment, we are still processing Luzhniki, Moscow, but today I can say that it is nine out of ten points. And this really is a good mark.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much. Let's have another question from the audience. Go ahead, please.

Question: Vsya Rossiya (All Russia) website. Thank you for your presentation, and thank you, Vera, for sharing a volunteer manifesto with us. This is a noble cause.

Yesterday, Qatar completed its mission here. Between July 7 and 15, Majlis Qatar pavilion operated in Moscow's Gorky Park along with nine locations in Moscow, two in St. Petersburg and three in Doha. I met with the Qataris, and they were very pleased with the arrangements in Moscow and the volunteers who helped them a lot. Tatiana, this is a question for you: could your mission in its international dimension be relevant for Qatar 2022 or other countries that need human resources and young volunteers?

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Thank you. Yes, we are ready to share our experience. First, we will debrief our performance with FIFA, and of course we will share our experience with others. As I have already said, many of the initiatives related to the volunteer program premiered at this World Cup, which is very important. Qatar will host the next World Cup, and I hope that they will use many of our practices. Of course, volunteer programs are often discussed at various international conferences on organizing and holding major international events, be it sports events or non-sports events, and we will be glad to share our experience. I think that our entire team, including volunteer centers, and the people in charge of volunteer programs in the regions, and city volunteers have a lot to share.

I would like to say a few more words about the city volunteer program. We had volunteer centers there just like at the stadiums. For example, in Moscow there was a volunteer center for all city volunteers. The center offered them a place where they could come to socialize and get their meals, which is great, and has not been done before. The city volunteer program was definitely a success, and can be shared with others. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone once again for these efforts.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you. Let's now move to Rostov-on-Don. Alexander, how are you there?

Moderator (Rostov-on-Don): Good afternoon, Svetlana! Greetings to all the participants in the news conference in Moscow and journalists in other 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities. Following up on international cooperation, could you tell us whether there were many foreign volunteers who came to Russia for the World Cup? Where did they come from, how did they get along and what impressions will they take back home? Thank you.

Tatyana Gomzyakova: Thank you very much for your question. Seven percent of our volunteers were from abroad, representing 112 countries. During the application campaign 30 percent of the 176,000 applications were from foreign volunteers with 189 countries represented. After selection, we were left with 7 percent from 112 countries. What does it mean to have volunteers from 112 countries? If you look at the map, the entire globe will be covered with volunteers who came to Russia from so many different countries: Mexico, Egypt, Australia, Brazil, Germany and the USA.

As for the foreign volunteers at the World Cup, they did a great job. Many of them have already taken part in FIFA events and other competitions across the world. This helped us a lot. Coming to Russia, many feared that the language barrier would be a challenge for them, since some of them could speak Russian, while others could not. However, in a matter of just a few days the team became a single whole, and everyone communicated and helped each other. So it didn't take long before the volunteers found their legs. When they were leaving many told us that Russia was a wonderful country. They want to come here again, which is great, and I think that we will see them at other events as well, or maybe without any particular reason. It may be that some volunteers will travel to other countries to visit their new foreign friends while they would come to Russia again to see us. I have no doubt that we will keep in touch.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much. And now we'll give the floor to our colleagues in Nizhny Novgorod. Good afternoon, Roman.

Moderator (Nizhny Novgorod): Colleagues, good afternoon. Nizhny Novgorod greets all the participants in the videoconference. We congratulate you on the successful World Cup. Hurray, we did it!

Tatiana Gomzyakova: Thank you.

Moderator (Nizhny Novgorod): Thank you very much. Of course, we are talking about volunteers and cannot keep from talking about the future of the volunteer movement, including the volunteers' future life, so I give the floor to my colleague Tatiana Beregova to ask a question.

Question: Good afternoon. A question from Nizhny Novgorod journalists. What events do you have planned as part of the Year of Volunteers? You mentioned that there would be a large festival in December. It's clear that the work to develop the volunteer movement will continue. What goals do you have for the years to come? What exactly is the volunteer program's legacy and what are the prospects for international cooperation in this area? You've said that this December World Cup volunteers would take part in the Russian Volunteer Forum. Would you elaborate on the events for this, or maybe on the projects you would advise volunteers to apply for and participate in? Thank you.

Ksenia Razuvayeva: I mentioned some of this year's events. Of course, there will now be the international volunteer forum as well as the Volunteer of Russia Awards on December 5. This is probably the most important event that reviews the results of the Year of Volunteers. In addition, we'll have a number of other large events during the year. I have also mentioned the Russian Silver Volunteer Forum in October. There will also be a large project called Ecodemia, which we are developing with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, held in late July through the end of August: 12 national parks will open for volunteers. This is the first time the event will be held on such a large scale. The central volunteer camp will be near Lake Baikal, where participants will spend three weeks. Not only Russians, but foreign volunteers who were at the 2017 World Festival of Youth and Students will also participate.

In addition, we also have a large youth forum campaign every summer, which includes the Tavrida national forum for creative youth and Territoriya Smyslov Russian forum. Next week, a large volunteer session begins at Territoriya Smyslov, which unites 1,000 people from all across Russia: medical and other volunteers who are coming to take part in this forum. In addition, for the first time, Tavrida will host a session dedicated to cultural volunteering at the end of August. This is another area that's being developed in Russia. These are the main events this year.

Of course, as we said at the beginning, volunteer work does not end in the Year of Volunteers or any other year; we actively promote it. It comes from the heart. It doesn't really need laws or a theme year because volunteering is outside any time or any other frame. Nevertheless, the chance to announce the Year of Volunteers is an opportunity to attract more attention to the subject, to tell more people about it, and to involve more people. Of course, this is a great opportunity for us. And the numbers I gave at the beginning confirm this. And of course we hope that the additional impetus volunteering has received this year will not go in vain. Volunteering is atemporal. It's an issue of the heart, not the calendar. The volunteers' calendar has December 32, 33 and 34 and so on. What you have achieved this year gives you an additional impetus for the future.

However, the volunteer movement has been developing consistently in Russia, and we will continue to do this. It involves the development of the infrastructure where anyone regardless of age will be able to become a volunteer. We also have volunteer groups at schools. There are plans to create 5,000 volunteer groups at schools, and we will continue with this program next year as well. We are working with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives to create a network of resource centers to support the volunteer movement around the country. These centers will employ the best practices and best technologies for working with volunteers and will become the operators of the largest regional projects. I have mentioned the development of Silver Volunteers Centers. In other words, developing the volunteering infrastructure is only one of the planned stages. This work will continue.

Education is an important part of volunteering. We plan to educate up to 20,000 civil servants this year alone. We believe this is very important, because there are obstacles that must be removed for the state to speak the same language with volunteers for them to become partners. Towards this end, we must provide more information and launch more programs. One of such programs, the one involving the training of civil servants, will be implemented this year. We will also continue to enhance the competencies of volunteer centers and volunteers. Major events, which are now held every year, are not a unique feature of this. The National Forum of Volunteers is held every year, and it is on our agenda for next year.

This year we held a large festival of volunteers for the first time, as I have said. It is a unique summer format we have never had before. It was successful, judging by the opinion of its participants. From now on, it will be held every year. Of course, we have streamlined our work and created a huge network of major Russian organizations that bring together volunteers from all Russian regions. One of them is the Association of Volunteer Centers, which was established in Sochi following the Winter Olympics. Very many people from the volunteer center of the World Cup are members of this Association, and the World Cup has played a very big role in enhancing their competencies and influencing their future development.

We have the Volunteers of the Victory whose members help war veterans and organize May 9 celebrations, and so on. There are medical volunteers and other large volunteer organizations. Overall, to cut a long story short, for I can sense our mediator sighing at the amount of information I have provided, overall, it's important that volunteering knows no limits. It's an issue of the heart, not the calendar, and we will carry on. This year gave us an additional opportunity and became a stage in the development of volunteering across the country. Thank you.

Moderator (Moscow): Thank you very much for this news conference. It has come to an end, just as the work of the city press centers. Colleagues, we are grateful to all of you for working together with the Rossiya Segodnya team. We are grateful to all those who helped us accomplish this job. We are not saying good-bye. Our team will be happy to see you at our other projects. Thank you, and hope to see you again.

The Year of Kindness. 2018 World Cup Volunteer Program