Volgograd State University
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VolSU summed up the results of the project "ZooProryv"

The results of comprehensive program for the development of volunteerism in the field of animal protection "ZooProryv" were summed up in Volgograd State University. This program is the winner of the grant competition of the Federal Agency for Youth (Rosmolodezh).

The event was opened by Acting Vice-Rector for Educational Work and Youth Policy of VolSU Pavel Perekhodov, Director of  "Proryv" Volunteer Center Maria Sapunkova and Head of "ZooProryv" program Lada Pikalova. The volunteers were also greeted by Elina Tereshko and Svetlana Zolotareva, heads of the "Island of Hope" shelter for dogs.


"When there are no resources to help, there is only one thing left - the human heart, soul, and caring," Pavel Perekhodov said. "When we applied for the Rosmolodezh grant competition, I, as a volunteer, had my fingers crossed that this project would be accepted. And I knew deep inside my heart that it would win. I would like to believe that this is just the beginning."

Volunteers have been providing regular assistance to the "Isle of Hope" shelter for several months. Students from seven institutes and the university college have been going to the shelter weekly to develop their skills in animal welfare and to help the shelter.

"About a year ago we got together as a team at the Volunteer Center to analyze what we were doing in terms of animal volunteering and realized that it was one-time actions, collecting food, visiting shelters," Maria Sapunkova, Director of the "Proryv" Volunteer Center, said. "We thought that we should make it into some kind of system. This idea gave birth to our project, "ZooProryv". We checked the animal shelters in the Volgograd region and chose the one that needed our support at the time. It was the "Isle of Hope" shelter. After visiting the shelter, getting acquainted with its managers and looking at the dogs, we realized that our help was really needed. We wrote a program that we submitted for a grant competition. We found a response both from you, the students of our university, and from the wonderful "wet noses", each of which you all probably already know by sight and by nicknames.

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The leaders of the "Island of Hope" shelter also shared the news about the name change.

"Not so long ago our shelter changed its name. We started out as an "Island of Hope" shelter, and now it's called "Ugolyok" after the name of the happiest dog in our shelter," Elina Tereshko, director of the shelter, said. "Thank you very much for coming to us and helping us. It was a tremendous support. Thank you for choosing us."

As part of the "ZooProryv" project, three hundred of its participants did a tremendous amount of work: feeding animals, cleaning the territory, preparing firewood, leveling grounds, painting enclosures, walking dogs. Dina Kosichkina, the host of the morning show "Three and Four" on "Volgograd.FM" held a meeting for volunteers titled "Issue of Abandoned Animals. Legislative Aspect. Ways to Solve It." The lecture allowed them to develop their skills in animal welfare.

"Thank you very much for being able to open your hearts and show how responsive and wonderful you all are," Lada Pikalova, the project manager, thanked the volunteers. "We hope very much that you and I will continue to do good things and personally develop."

All the volunteers were awarded with letters of gratitude and gifts. The leader in the implementation of their own initiatives as part of the comprehensive program "ZooProryv" was the University College.

"This year, as a curator, I did my best to motivate the first-year students to go to the shelter," Evgeniya Karmazina, a volunteer from the Institute of Economics and Management, said. "In addition, I myself tried to visit the dogs as often as I could. These autumn Saturdays always gave me a lot of positive emotions and energy. I wholeheartedly love this project and hope that it will become an annual project and we will visit the beloved shelter more than once and give the dogs our warmth."  

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The "ZooProryv" comprehensive program helped not only the dogs from the "Ugolyok" shelter, but also the volunteers themselves, who implemented their initiative in the framework of the project.

"This is my first gratitude received within the walls of VolSU, so I am unspeakably happy," Mark Yakunin, a volunteer from the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication, shared. "Since activism came into my life, I began to like being a student. Thanks to volunteering I became kinder and started communicating with people who were close to me in spirit. There will be more to come. Thank you, "ZooProryv!"

The goal of the project "ZooProryv" is the systematic development of volunteering in the field of animal protection and increasing the number of volunteers.

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