A regular blog post topic by now, my dialogue this month with IAVE’s National Representatives is with Galina Bodrenkova from Russia. Galina has been involved with IAVE for over 20 years, contributing immensely to promoting volunteering and enlarging IAVE’s presence in her country.

In the lines below, she talks about the organization she represents, her role as a National Representative as well as her hopes for future involvement with IAVE.

“Russian Volunteer Development Centre started its journey in 1991 under the name of “Moscow Charity House” (MCH). Initially, MCH worked with over 60 various agencies that provided social assistance to people in need that involved more than 2.000 volunteers in delivering those social services”, Galina explains the origins of the organization she is currently involved in. Due to its growing experience in managing volunteering and with the help from expertise from IAVE, MCH quickly re-positioned itself to be the national volunteer center for Russia and has been helping create a favorable environment for the development of volunteering in Russia since 1994.

“Our activities include delivering seminars  training and workshops on volunteerism, organizing Volunteer Spring Week and Global Youth Service Days as well as running the annual all-Russian conference on volunteerism”, Galina says about the current activities at the Russian Volunteer Development Centre.

In regards to her role as an IAVE National Representative, Galina says “it is a great honor and a great responsibility, for me as well as for my organization”.

Based on the ideas, values ​​and volunteer management practices IAVE, Galina tries to raise awareness about volunteering and volunteer support capacity building in the regions of Russia by improving the ability of local volunteer centers to more effectively engage volunteers through training and networking and creating conditions for the exchange of experiences. “I try to develop IAVE by brining in new Russian members, especially young people” Galina adds to explain about what she does as a NR.

In her work, Galina is driven by the deep conviction that the development of volunteering is an effective tool for engaging citizens in solving the problems of society and it also helps in strengthening civil society (non-profit sector) by increases its ability to be a partner in the dialogue with government authorities. “Volunteers feel and act as useful members of society”, says Galina.

“I think that IAVE’s new initiative of setting up a Global Network of National Volunteer Centers will be another opportunity for National Representatives of many countries, including Russia, to come together and I look forward to engaging with IAVE in the future. I believe that this will be a strong network of professional exchange of experiences, knowledge, and cooperation in the development of volunteering worldwide.” Galina concludes our discussion as she looks to continue her engagement with IAVE members.


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