VESNA - Aid Initiative for Children in Engels

18th May 2017

At the Russian Bosch site in Engels, Bosch associates spearheaded an aid initiative for children modeled after Primavera.

It was an exciting day for Maria, Zahar, and ten other little attendees of the N4 day care center in the city of Engels, Russia. They were looking forward to a visit from associates of the local Bosch plant, who brought along lots of small gifts – simple things such as wooden toys or a children’s clock. It was one of the first campaigns by members of VESNA (“spring”), an aid organization founded by associates in Engels. The children the institution cares for have Down syndrome. “They are developmentally delayed, so they need extra attention and support,” explains Vladyslav Razladov, commercial director of the Engels site and founder of the aid initiative. The day care center is like a home for these children; they spend nearly their whole day there. “Some children who live far away also stay here overnight.” For this reason, he says, it is particularly important to organize their daily routine in a way that promotes their development in situations involving everyday play and learning.

During his time working as a trainee in Germany, Razladov learned about Primavera, the aid organization founded by Bosch associates. He has been an active member ever since. “After my assignment to Russia, I wanted to start a similar initiative at my new site to provide a chance for a better future for children in need here, as well.” He discussed the idea of starting such an initiative with his colleagues and quickly found that many were willing to join the cause. “The only way that we could really cooperate with Primavera was to found an NGO (non-governmental organization).” Ultimately, that’s what they decided to do. The official papers that established VESNA as an NGO were signed in August of 2016.

By the end of the year, the new organization was ready to launch its first two pilot projects: supporting a day care center and a school in Engels, both of which care for children with disabilities. “And there are so many other projects that we’re already interested in working on,” Razladov says. There is a children’s hospice in the city, for example, that cares for children with terminal illnesses. Donations could be used to renovate the rooms and make them more cheerful, as well as to purchase new beds, sheets, and toys.

Visiting the day care center encouraged the VESNA team to keep up their work. Darya Balabaj from the human resources department in Engels was impressed with the children’s warmth and gratitude. “Sooner or later, we all learn that we can do much more in our lives.” Seeing the children’s joy meant a lot to her. “It just makes me happy that I can help them in some way, and it gives me the strength to come up with new ideas.”

Razladov and his colleagues want to raise awareness of VESNA outside of Engels, as well. They hope to find more volunteers and attract significant donations, especially in places where Bosch already has sites – in cities such as Moscow, Samara, and St. Petersburg, for example.

About Russia ...

Capital: Moskau
Area: 17.075.400 km²
Population: 142,4 Mio
Population Density: 8 Inh. / km²
Population Growth: 0,2% p.a.
Official Language: Russian
Literacy Rate: 99,6 %
Religion: Russian-Orthodox (79 %)
Currency: Rubel

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