Office Manager at EXANTE Anastasia Rakhmatova volunteers for a project to support the elderly within the EXANTE COVID-19 programme. This corporate initiative enables employees to help those in need during the quarantine, while keeping their full salary.
Anastasia says it was not easy to find an operational charity programme. ‘I faced an awkward situation. The volunteers were there waiting for the tasks, yet there were no requests from the elderly and people in need. They just didn't know these services existed! There was only one organisation that had already been working with nursing homes, boarding schools and psychoneurological clinics. They had purchased the equipment and launched online meetings. I took the chance and joined them!’
Before the start, new recruits undergo training. Volunteers learn how to communicate with people and where to focus their attention. Once the training is over, the new project members can choose a date and theme for the upcoming event.
‘On Victory Day, I read poems ‘Zemlyanka’ (‘The fire is flickering in the narrow stove…’) and ‘Wait for me’. Some volunteers organised quizzes, others sang songs to the guitar - and they really nailed it. The volunteers never coordinated in advance, it was all an improvisation!’ says Anastasia.
Two months later, Anastasia admitted that volunteering had become part of her life: ‘At first, it felt like an extra job, but then I realised I enjoyed helping other people. An upcoming online meeting in the Rzhevsky house was scheduled for my day off, yet I enjoyed it so much that I signed up anyway. The most incredible feeling is when you understand what they need, when you forge a special bond with them!’
Anastasia’s story revealed once again that EXANTE not only employs professionals but also passionate people willing to make the difference.