Ulyanovsk Region: Number of Socially-Oriented Nonprofit Organizations Has Increased Thanks to Implementation of Regional Social Initiative Project

On 23 March, Governor Sergey Morozov had a meeting with civic activists who are leaders of federal and regional subsidy competitions and the project to support local initiatives.

The Governor said, “We have been implementing a large and very important project in the Ulyanovsk region for several years. It is called the Regional Social Initiative. It includes 12 steps that aim to develop an advanced institutional environment in the social sphere including social entrepreneurship, volunteering, creative industries, and socially-oriented NPOs. We were able to create a solidarity society with a developed regional identity. For example, over the past three years, the number of NPOs that provide social services in the region has increased from four to one hundred. A volunteer center has been opened and continues developing now. The regional social initiative has already achieved the main goals. This year, it received further improvements thanks to a federal project - a national social initiative developed by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives at the request of President Putin. We have worked really hard. But there is still a lot more to do in the field of civil society organization. We are a big, united, powerful force because we are together! People should be the focus of our activities, and we must solve specific problems that they have to face in various life situations.”

Participants of the meeting discussed results of the regional social forum "Justice through the Eyes of People" organized by the United Russia party. Private association and regional authorities will implement tasks in the sphere of social policy together. Activities will be carried out under the # Мывместе slogan. The region has already developed a plan of activities, which will address a number of issues such as support of small and medium-sized businesses and major enterprises, investment attraction, comprehensive development of rural areas and the agro-industrial complex, road improvements, better mortgages and salaries. Particular attention will be paid to large families.

During the meeting, social activists shared their successful experience in implementation of grant projects to develop education, culture and sports, to provide social services to residents, and to generate new ideas.

Maria Shpak, a representative of the Kind Heart Charity Foundation ("Dobroe serdce"), proposed creating a system to support implementation of initiatives designed by residents of the region. The activist used the federal forum "Strong Ideas for New Times" ("Silnye idei dlya novogo vremeni") as an example. Thanks to this event, experts selected about 300 initiatives to introduce them in various life spheres.

“The Ulyanovsk region has many civic-minded people who can draft their own proposals to improve the quality of life in our region. Perhaps it is a good idea to use online services to collect these ideas. Together with heads of relevant departments, the expert group will be able to work on the selected ideas and prepare the best algorithm for their implementation. We must create a single point to collect, support and implement such ideas in the region with the help of the state. Currently, the regional authorities are actively helping NPOs with their projects presented during grant competitions,” explained Maria Shpak.

The meeting also covered initiatives that aim to involve citizens in volunteering. Elena Domashevskaya, Director of ANO "Ulyanovsk Club of Civic Education", presented several initiatives in the sphere of education.

She commented, "We have introduced several digital products. One of the projects is "ZaRYA: Za russkiy yazyk!", which was implemented thanks to the presidential grant. We organized an online test to check people's knowledge of Russian language, and all participants could share their results on social networks. We also encouraged creating book trailers for the favorite books. Together with Profi-Center, an organization for continuing-education, we received a federal grant to train residents of towns and rural areas in remote working. The list of professions includes a marketer, a PR-manager, an smm-specialist, and a targetologist. More than one hundred people living in Ulyanovsk are involved in this project."

Another project discussed during the meeting aims to involve young people in active public life. As explained by Mark Semak, a representative of Ulyanovsk public movement "For the Strong, Fair and Stable Homeland" ("Za Silnuyu Spravedlivuyu Stabilnuyu Rodinu"), the movement invites people to various events in order to clean and improve public spaces. Participants receive bonuses and project participant cards. Partners of the movement - commercial enterprises working in the field of recreation and entertainment - provide card holders with bonuses and discounts.

Pavel Andreev, a representative of Ulyanovsk public organization "Youth Initiative Center", talked about the project called "TRAM Nights". Thanks to the regional grant, a new type of cultural entertainment will be organized for working youth. The project will expand the number of activities available at one unusual location - a tram.

The regional branch of the United Russia and the Association of Territorial Public Self-Government Bodies of Ulyanovsk Region signed a cooperation agreement during the meeting.

Sergey Morozov and Svetlana Chupsheva (Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives) met on 22 March. The parties discussed the social sphere, future cooperation to improve the business and investment climate of the Ulyanovsk region, and training of modern personnel for enterprises.