Volunteering in Russia
Russia is the biggest country in the world, and it is larger than we can imagine – it occupies more than one eighth of the Earth’s inhabitable land area and has nine time zones across it’s states. Russia has the largest reserve of mineral as well as energy resources in the world and its lakes contain about one quarter of the world’s drinkable water. Across the country, there is a diverse range of habitable surroundings, people and culture.
This in turn, creates a huge need for volunteers in Russia. Since it’s gradual transition from communism to capitalism, Russia has been facing a unique array of problems that the government has not fully addressed. Volunteers may step up to render help in areas such as environmental work, cultural exchange, social care, education, and more.
International volunteering programs are always an option for individuals looking to travel and do something meaningful concurrently. Here are some organizations and positions you can check out:
Nature Reserve Conservation Assistant
Journey to the Great Baikal Lake in Russia and become a part of an amazing team and worthwhile cause at their Baikal Ecotourism Development Program! The focus of this program is Environmental conservation through sustainable eco-tourism. You will volunteer alongside international volunteers and amazing local staff to help set up sustainable responsible eco-tourism to support the local communities as well as to safe guard this amazing habitat for future generations.
Ecologia Youth Trust
Kitezh and Orion Children’s Communities
Kitezh and Orion are communities of people in Russia’s Kaluga region (not far from Moscow) that dedicate their lives to helping children who have been orphaned or have experienced suffering. Volunteering here might be demanding at times, but also offers a great opportunity to contribute to the life of these unique communities by helping whichever way you can: everything from house work to teaching English. In your free time there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy Russian country life, work with animals on the farm, collect berries and mushrooms in the forest and go swimming in the lake.
The island of Valaam in the Russian republic of Karelia is home to an ancient Orthodox monastery that dates back to the early 10th century. Every year the monks welcome between 500 and 700 volunteers, both women and men, from 18 to 60 years old, ready to help with the agricultural work of the monastery, for instance, preparing fields for sowing, haymaking and harvesting vegetables.
It’s not necessary for a volunteer to be Orthodox but you will be expected to adhere to local rules (like wearing proper clothing), share dorm accommodation and follow a daily schedule. In return you’ll get the opportunity to see this unique place in the north of Russia, learn about its history and meet all kinds of people, including the monks themselves. The latter will be happy to help you make sense of your life path and share their spiritual lessons.