Helping hand: RT launches website with channel’s charity projects

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RT has launched a website dedicated to our crowd-funded charity projects for orphans and children in need, which have been growing since the creation of the channel. One of the organizers, Tina Berezhnaya, shared the details.

The new website is dedicated to RT’s charity projects and our friends in charitable organizations, as well as to funds which RT staff contribute to, for causes such as children in need.

The channel’s employees have their own project, helping two care homes for disadvantaged children in the Tula region which has been ongoing for the past nine years. Many of our staff help at an orphanage for newborns and toddlers in Moscow and our colleagues volunteer in other projects.

“We help those who cannot help themselves, those who cannot fight for their rights. Orphaned children and children in difficult situations who have to live in care homes, we feel, need our help the most,” said Berezhnaya, IT Adviser to the CEO at RT, and both an organizer of the charity projects and active participant.

Photo by RT

“Our colleagues also volunteer in other charity organizations such as “Give A Life” (“Podari Zhizn), and many are active donors,” she added.

As RT is financed by the state budget, all of the projects are crowd funded, she explains. RT does not have a charity fund as such and thus do not spend a single ruble on organizational work.

“Our colleagues donate from their own incomes, and some of them create fundraisers that bring noticeable sums.”

RT always welcomes volunteers to help collect the necessary items as well as to organize activities and trips.

“We have people bringing theatrical programs and professional workshops to the orphanages, and the children love them!”

One of the latest fundraisers was launched by the host of RT’s ‘In the Now’ program, Anissa Naouai, in February. The ongoing GoFundMe project urges support for Our Sunny World, which helps children with autism.

In another campaign, several years ago, Charlotte Lomas-Farley who used to work for RT ran a half-marathon for the cause, Berezhnaya said adding that the money she raised was used to renovate the dining room for children in Gvardeyskoy, Tula region, and buy new furniture (tables and chairs) for the dining area.

Photo by RT

“A lot of people outside of RT know about our charity project and help: A publishing house in Moscow regularly donates tons (no exaggeration here, tons – one of the shipments was almost 6 000 kilos!) of soap and shampoo, helps with craft supplies, and cooking utensils,” she said.

Speaking about how the project came to life she said the idea came to her and her colleague Alena Topolyanskaya in early December 2005, just before the first RT channel was about to launch.

“I had a conversation about making the holiday season truly festive by giving to those in need,” she said.

“And I instantly though abut an orphanage where my family was giving clothes and books when I was still in school – the Yasnaya Polyana orphanage in Tula region, about 100 miles south of Moscow.”

“We called them, asked about their needs, and by Christmas we had already gone there with presents. The company grew, and we soon realized we can help more than one care home – we have become friends to the rehabilitation center for children in difficult situations in Gvardeyskoye village, also in the Tula region.”

Photo by RT

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“The things we bring to the care homes are requested by their principals – they list their necessities, we publish them on a web-page and everyone who wants to help can either purchase some of the things or make a donation.”

The contribution is not simply material, she explained, saying that children need communication, especially with the adults they respect.

“The work we all put into the project is awarded by the happy smiles of our little friends, and that’s plenty.”