Ulyanovsk region became the first in the Volga Federal District to join the Beacons of Friendship Youth Programme

On 8 February, the project "Beacons of friendship. Russia brings people together" was launched within the Relay of Knowledge and Experience platform at the NEW COOPERATION Forum. During the event, the Governor of the Ulyanovsk region Sergey Morozov and Dmitry Zubov, the Chairman of the Central Union of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation (Centrosoyuz), lit a symbolical Beacon of friendship.

“For many years 120 peoples have been living in the Ulyanovsk region in peace, harmony and mutual understanding. Our multinational region has always been famous for its friendliness. We are glad to join this amazing cultural and historical project aimed to develop and strengthen international communications, and we are ready to support it”, - the Governor Sergey Morozov said.

The project "Beacons of friendship. Russia brings people together" was created by organizers as an extension of the programme "Beacons of Friendship. Towers of the Caucasus", which was implemented in 2016. It was presented to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin within the meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations that took place in Yoshkar-Ola on 20 July 2016. The project also received support from the Presidential Grant Program.

The project "Beacons of friendship. Russia brings people together" includes the stages of the Towers of the Caucasus and the VOLGA - Cooperation Along a Big River programmes.

"As soon as we found out that the All-Russian Forum "NEW COOPERATION" will take place in Ulyanovsk, we understood that it is a strategically important region for us. We would like to launch the Beacons of Friendship movement along the Volga", - said Ruslan Gusarov, the project manager, the Vice-President of the Association of Educational Institutions of Consumer Cooperatives of Centrosoyuz of Russia.

As planned by the organizers, the VOLGA - Cooperation Along a Big River stage will take place from 11 to 18 August. It will be carried out in Ulyanovsk, Samara, Volgograd and Astrakhan regions, as well as in Tatarstan, Chuvashia and Kalmykia. It is expected that 40 volunteers, including approximately 5-10 people from the Ulyanovsk region, will represent the Volga Federal District. Volunteers will help to improve cultural and historical sites.

"Ulyanovsk will get a sister region. People will come here from the Caucasus. We would like to show them Russia, specificl aspects of regions, and not only Moscow. We have a motto – Help, Learn, Tell, Make Friends. To help means to work, to learn more about the region, to tell about it in social networks so to find more friends" - said Pavel Pavlovsky, the leader of the project "Beacons of friendship. Russia brings people together".

According to the Minister of Youth Development Oksana Solntseva, the region has already participated in similar movements. In particular, the Start with Yourself project is being implemented.

"We have found historically valuable buildings in the territory of the Ulyanovsk region and sent an expedition to investigate them. For example, the Polivanov's house was visited by designers and ecologists who wanted to learn more about the history and to suggest ways of  reconstruction and maintenance for such facilities", - Oksana Solntseva said.

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The project "Beacons of Friendship: Towers of the Caucasus" was launched in 2016 in order to strengthen international cooperation, to develop and promote domestic tourism.

During the summer holidays, forty students from Moscow universities together with their peers from local regions (80 people in total) went to the Caucasus to take part in a two-week clean-up event. Its aim was to preserve and recover Caucasian historical and cultural monuments, such as famous beacons, dwelling and combat towers, and fortresses. Volunteers did not only work, communicate and studied culture, but also kept diaries and made notes (this was one of the project's main conditions).

You can find out more about the project and read diaries of participants at http://2016.nashibashni.ru/