In the Heart of Charity

In the Heart of Charity

As stated by Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, before the opening of the International forum dedicated to the charity, in Russia charity has become a significant part in the society life, yet the government lags behind the needs of the society and the readiness of the citizens to help other people. The solution of this and other tasks was largely discussed at the meeting in Ufa, where gathered the representatives of the legislative power, the executive branch, non-profit organizations and funds. One of the objectives of the event was to involve colleagues from other countries for experience sharing and development of international collaboration. The forum was organized by the Federation Council of Russia, the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Charity Fund “Marhamat”.

On the 17-18 of November the International Forum “Women’s Dialogue. Infinity Charity” took place in Ufa. It became a grand event of a really universal significance as among the participants there were representatives of many countries (Russia, the USA, China, Great Britain, Mongolia, the Republic of South Africa, Germany, Uzbekistan, etc.).


The team of our web-site broadcasted the events of the forum online. The forum was opened with a plenary meeting where Rustem Khamitov, Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairperson of the Federation Council, Banzragch Delgermaa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia, and leaders and representatives of charity organizations of many countries presented their talks. Then the work of the forum was continued in the form of round table discussions and workshops dedicated to various aspects of charity, patronship, philanthropy, and fundraising.


As noticed by professor Sarah Harder, one of the participants of the forum, one of the notable peculiarities of this event is that it has become possible to make a real dialogue: people didn’t speak to one another, but they spoke with one another. That interaction, collaboration has become the keynote of the whole forum. Because unity and mutual help lie in the basis of all good deeds, of charity. The forum “Women’s Dialogue. Infinity Charity” brought together 700 members of 55 regions of Russia and 10 other countries and gave them the opportunity to find areas of common interest, to initiate further mutual activity, to exchange some valuable experience, to discuss burning issues. Such meetings are necessary, they serve a starting point of development in new good deeds.


Good assistance in such collaboration is provided by our web-site, which was repeatedly referred to during the discussions.

Quite notable was the atmosphere of the forum; it was so hearty, warm and special. The amazing land of kind-hearted and hospitable people is sure to become the place for such events. The participants are very grateful to the Administration of the Republic of Bashkortostan and to Lilia Gumerova, representative of the Republic of Bashkortostan at the Federation Council, for the splendid reception provided for all of them. Special thanks should be given to the volunteers working at the meeting. They provided the participants with all their care and made the work of the forum remarkably comfortable and effective.


The concert given for the participants of the forum was a bright gem in the programme of the event. It was held in the Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Among the participants there were singers, dancers and musicians from all over the Republic.


For an hour and a half the spectators plunged into the amazing world of art, got acquainted with Bashkir legends, national musical instruments and tunes, there were Russian folk songs as well. Special needs children also took part in the concert. It proved again that the art can surpass any limits and the real talent can overcome any difficulties.


The performance of Diana Gurtskaya, the Honoured Artist of Russia, inspired the audience with its magnificent energy.


The closing plenary meeting which was held by Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairperson of the Federation Council, was aimed at discussing the results of round table sessions and drawing the conclusion of the whole event. The forum showed that Russian society is at the present moment on the verge of forming a new vision and thinking where the charity should become a natural need.


This dynamics has been traced during the past decades. As noticed by Karin van Mourik, Association of German Women Entrepreneurs board member, the charity was once perceived in Russia as social work, now it has become an inseparable part of any productive activity in various spheres. Another colleague of ours Vanda Gaqiano, Free State Women’s Agriculture Union President, the Republic of South Africa, while commenting upon her own activity said: “Lord gave us two hands; one to help ourselves, the other to help people”.


That very notion of a need to help others moves donors, philanthropists, and charity providers. Just because they can! Because there are people who need our help. It’s very important to unite efforts. Vanda quotes a metaphor by Mother Teresa who said that if you cast a stone across the river there will be circles on the water. Making yet a small but very important step in a right direction we make it possible to change the situation for the better, to draw the attention to the burning problem and to find its solution. And that proves the significance of the forum in Ufa. It enabled a very important experience sharing process between charity organizations, new connections and acquaintances. Communication and publishing of topical issues will be continued on our web-site as well.


In the conclusion of the meeting Galina Karelova inspired the participants with a very proper and bright idea: “Every good deed deserves continuing!” People who do good deeds every day got support, made new connections, found new ways of collaboration.


Now the work will be continued in many ways on a new level. Ever more new ways of interaction have been settled; ever more good deeds will be done.


    Oksana Kurenya, news agency of Eurasian Women’s Community