Meet for charity

Dear friends,

We’ve got something interesting for you and invite you to join!

We looked around and we realized that throughout the time of our work we have collected around us amazing circle of people who took part in international volunteering programmes and became ambassadors of this movement, as well as they’re using skills and knowledges acquired in volunteering in everyday life – both professional and personal.

And we decided that it will be very useful for these experienced people to meet newbies, those who is only opening the world of volunteering abroad for themselves, wants to get to know it better – but still has some doubts, for some reason. These meetings will be useful for both sides – newbies for confidence, “oldies” – for new inspiration!

However, we would like to add socially relevant element into this and took example of international action “Meet for charity” and made our own version – Volunteers meet for charity!

How does it work?

You choose a person with whom you would like to meet and have a chat about volunteering abroad (list of these people you will find below) – meetings can be offline if you’re based in their city or online anywhere. You should write to org.sfera@gmail.com to check if this person is available. In the description you will find name and link to charity fund which this person is supporting. When you get confirmation from us that this person is available, you will need to donate the amount of minimum 300 roubles to this charity fund and send us confirmation of payment. After that you will receive contact details of this person and arrange a meeting!

This way we’re solving several problems – you will get to know something new and interesting for yourself, meet inspiring person; speaker will also get inspired, sharing her knowledge; charity funds receive financial support.

We have launched this action in Russian for Russian-speaking audience in November 2019 and since that time 25 meetings took place and we have donated altogether around 10 000 roubles 🙂

Our wonderful speakers are:

Elena Solnechnaya

We have known Elena for quite a long time. She once e-mailed us with a request to disseminate information about her EVS blog in Ireland, which then developed into one about overseas lifestyle. No doubt that blogs on volunteering wouldn’t have become so favoured unless Elena hadn’t shed some light on the matter. Now she resides in Brussels and is employed in international NGO.

Here are some main conversation topics she has a keen interest on:
“Long-term volunteering (EVS/ECS only) in Europe and Asia, new opportunities arising after the project, some other programmes (UNV, Atlas Corps), employment issues abroad, nuances about CV and writing ML process, job interview… to be short, everything concerning lifestyle in a different country, staying motivated and couraged to immigrate… whether it is worth it and all about starting from scratch in a country you have never been to before. What is non-profit organization like and why work there is said to be little different? …about succeeding in learning a language on your own and becoming proficient”.

If you wish to meet offline, then this can be done in … Brussels (Belgium).
The fund you need to make a donation to meet with Elena is absolutely at your discretion from the list on the site.

Vera Savinova (Shaulina)

We got acquainted with Vera when we were preparing her for EVS in Estonia. There in non-equipped province during a year she was working with the handicapped and in order not to get bored led an active social life beyond the project.

By the time it finished, Vera had published a cookbook for volunteers, wrote a series of fairy tales about her wards, won almost all contests from coordinating organization, collaborated with a local newspaper, was chanced to star in the extras of the Finnish movie “Ikitie”. What’s more, Vera’s blog about EVS was considered the best among all in the area of volunteering in the years 2015-2016.

Vera also participated in two camps, to one of which she went as a camp leader having completed special training in Finland in advance.

Here is what she writes about communication topics with her:
“Lacking motivation? I’m the right one for you! I did experience different circumstances including learning English from elementary level, coping with hardships on my way and how I managed to get a grip. I’m eager to know your stories and share my tips”.

If you meet offline, then this can be done in … St. Petersburg.
The fund you need to make a donation to meet Vera – Irkutsk Regional Environmental Public Organization “My Baikal”.

Irina Nikulina

As part of the action, you may chat with our coordinator Irina and ask questions on absolutely all the programmes we offer. Irina worked with foreign EVS volunteers in Russia (what about asking her about funny situations with them?), then sent volunteers from Russia to EVS, trainings and youth exchanges, as well as LMTV projects and projects of the Voluntary Social Year in Germany. For sure she will also be able to make a speech about volunteer camps, since she knows them all inside out. If you desire to learn how to qualify for a project, create a best resume and a motivation letter and how not to drive your coordinator crazy – welcome.


If you meet offline, then this can be done in … Nizhny Novgorod.
The fund you need to make a donation to meet Irina – Roizman Foundation.

Dana Diakova

Dana is our ex-EVS volunteer in Croatia. It was the place where she learned how to write applications for international youth exchanges and trainings. Now she is involved in the Erasmus + Youth and European Solidarity Corps programmes: she creates and runs projects; she coordinates ESC volunteers in «Step Towards» («Шаг навстречу») foundation as well as activities of our contact point for Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps. In general, Dana is a person who is ready to answer all your questions about these programmes and help you to self-determine after the end of a project.


If you meet offline, it can be done in… St. Petersburg.
The fund to donate to meet with Dana is Roizman Foundation.


Olga Pokrovskaya
There are so many things that we would like to tell you about this unique person! To begin with, she is our ex-colleague and we have worked together for several years. Olga coordinated «Time Bank» («Банк Времени») project in Nizhny Novgorod Volunteer Service. One day she made up her mind to take part in EVS project in Iceland. And despite the fact that her English was at a basic level, she participated in it. But there were some problems with a visa: Icelandic legislation did not allow a person from non-EU countries to spend more than 3 months in Iceland as a volunteer; a long-term volunteer visa simply did not exist. Olga had to leave the project, but Iceland left an imprint in her heart. After 2 years she came back, because Icelandic legislation made it possible to privide volonteers with long-term visas. This amazing story came true thanks to the efforts of her host organization. After the end of the project, Olga stayed in Iceland. Now she works in a youth organization, creates a huge number of projects, accepts volunteers, plays for the national Icelandic rugby team and studies at the graduate program! And she succeeded in English. To sum up, Olga is an example to follow.


About what, among other things, it will be possible to talk with Olya according to her: “I can tell you how to choose a project, write CV and motivation letter. About projects in Iceland or how to survive in the north. ”


If you meet offline, it can be done in… Reykjavik (Iceland).
The fund to donate to meet with Olga is Live Foundation («Живой»).

Elena Tkacheva

Elena participated in a workcamp, international training and in 2 EVS projects – short-term and long-term. She has always shown plenty of ambition for dissemination of information about our programme (and made several meetings in her city with info about EVS).

You can talk with her about:

‘Why it is never late to change your life and try something new.’

‘How to find an interesting project or write an attractive resume and a catchy motivational letter’

Why EVS isn’t a replacement for psychotherapy nor merely an activity to do with friends and why it’s better to realize it beforehand.

And of course about culture shock, everyday life, national circumstances, amazing freedom and endless youth.”

She’s also part of Alumni network in Russia, created with an aim to spread information about ESC and E+ Youth among young people with fewer opportunities.

Elena’s article about her project in Hungary

If you want to meet her offline you can do it in … Rostov-on-the-Don

If you want to meet Elena, you should donate to the foundation “Собаки, которые любят”.

Daria Bolokhova

Daria participated in EVS project in Lithuania in the small town of Birzai. Later, at a meeting in Moscow, she won our hearts with her smile and infectious laugh, she also gave a wonderful speech at the forum for young people about international volunteering. 

Now she lives in Italy and writes about herself:

 “I’m a project manager in foundation “Live classics”. I also organize international projects in which over 1 million participants from all over the world took part in. Finally, I manage a recording project of an audio book for blind children. I can tell you how to live after EVS, how to use the skills learned during EVS in real life, how to survive one year in a village and stay alive, how to organize a TEDx conference, and how to become a star of local newspapers.

Also, I can give a webinar: “How to get an Italian to fall in love with you in 10 days.”

If you want to meet Daria offline you can do it in …Sicily.

If you want to meet her, you should donate to the центр “Сестры”.

Daria Fomina

Daria took part in EVS project in France and she is full of energy and ready to tell everybody around her about international volunteering!

The topic:

“Workcamps in general (had taken part 5 times, worked as a sending coordinator, organized it by myself – have a feeling that I know everything that I only can about it), EVS/ESC – personal experience (and especially personal difficulties), tips for CV and ML. In addition to all of the above, my friends and I volunteered through Workaway, I also can tell about this experience. In some aspects it’s definitely different from organized workcamps, but it gives no less positive emotions!”.

If you want to meet with Daria offline, you can do it in… Moscow.

Where to donate for meeting with Daria – ecological movement “Separate collection”.

Ekaterina Martyanova

Volunteer since 2014, from this time took part in 6 workcamps, one of which was in Greenland last year, short-term EVS/ESC in Spain, some Workaway projects in Latin America and Japan, been a volunteer in Russia, participant of Erasmus+ Youth projects.

What can I talk about:

What is the difference between workcamp and ESC, why it’s better to start your volunteer path with workcamps. I will share my impressions about Iceland and Greenland, answer all your questions. Ready to speak on any volunteering’s topics and also on personal’s: how is it to be an international volunteer, when your beloved is waiting for you at home, how to find a balance between active volunteering and work. I got an instagram account where I write about volunteering: katiemartianova. Write to me, we can chat!

If you want to meet with Ekaterina offline, you can do it in… Moscow or Balashiha.

Foundation in which it’s necessary to donate to have a meeting with Ekaterina – Sheredar.

Alyona Greneva

Alyona had been working as a youth worker, and then she went for EVS project to work with young people in the cutest town in Slovenia! Before and after that project she took part in international youth exchange programmes and training (for example, she has recently come back from exchange in Slovakia).

Here  is what Alyona writes herself:

“I can tell you how to choose that very “yours” ESC project, read your CV and a motivation letter and give some advice on how to improve it,  I can fill  out the profile on the portal so that organizations contact you themselves. Furthermore, I have participated in youth exchange programmes three times and one time in youth worker’s training in frames of Erasmus+ and I will tell you how to become a member of this nice action.

We can meet in Vologda for a cup of coffee or online, if you are from another city.”

Alyona’s blog about the project in Slovenia

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Vologda.

Here you can make a donation to meet with Alyona –  “Environmental movement Separate Collection”.

Evgeniia Masloboeva

We have known Evgeniia for a long time as she has taken part in 8 (!) workcamps! It’s definitely worth listening about such experiences. Here is what she tells herself:

“1. I will tell you about my experience of participation in 8 international projects.

2. I will reveal a secret how to make 100 friends from 25 different countries.

3. I will share information about 10 possibilities to become a volunteer in Russia.

4. I will tell you how my experience of international volunteering was useful during the selection to the international company. It is worth noticing that from 3250 requests they have chosen only 25 participants.

5. I will tell you the story of how I could go to the Arctic as a volunteer.”

Diary of a volunteer’s expenses on a project in Italy, written by Evgeniia.

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Moscow.

The foundation to which you should make a donation to meet with Evgeniia – the foundation “The Bureau of  Good Deeds”

Ksenia Stadnikova

Ksusha took part in an amazing EVS project in Lapland! And  she got there plenty of useful skills for life. And she was so inspired that she wrote by herself and managed a youth exchange project dedicated to healthy lifestyle (with colleagues’ support, but still), which took place in her host organization  –  and she took there a group of teenagers from Russia.

What about can you talk with Ksusha:

“How to find new hobbies, how to solve problems in a project with a mentor or a host organization, how to be opened for anything new”.

Ksenia’s story about the project in Finland.

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Nizhny Novgorod.

The foundation to which you should make a donation to meet with Ksenia – the foundation of helping adults “Alive”

Anna Kuvaeva

Anna took part in EVS project in Poland, and after coming back she helped us so much with holding a short-term project with a group of French volunteers in the homestead Spasskoe-Kurkino!

What about she wants to tell you during your meeting:

“I would like to tell you what you should do when they don’t accept you for the project and how to come back to real life later. I had time to discover EVS from different sides: we helped to select new volunteers in Poland, and then I became a coordinator of a project in Russia, so I can look at a lot of problems not just as a participant.

The article about the project with french volunteers, where Anna was a coordinator. 

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Kaliningrad.

Here you should make a donation to meet with Anna – ANO “Guardianship”

Irina Rakhmanova

Irina is going through the amazing path of an international volunteer – firstly she has taken part in several workcamps, then she has taken part in EVS project as a volunteer in Germany for a year at the archeological park, after that she has become a leader of the international exchange program in Turkey.

“I can tell you:

  • which types of volunteer projects do exist
  • how to write a motivation letter
  • is it worth being scared of cultural shock
  • which souvenirs are better to bring with you, how to prepare for intercultural evening
  • lifehacks which, for my opinion, can make any project unforgettable.

I can help you:

  • allay fears (stereotypes, myths…), which don’t let you to be on the edge of participating in a project
  • understand the navigation in databases of projects.”

Irina’s story about the project in the archeological park in Germany.

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Moscow.

The foundation in which you should make a donation to meet with Irina – “Flophouse”

Arina Ovchinnikova

One day Arina went to the short-term EVS in Bodrum (Turkey) and then she continued her activity there and she is still there. 🙂

What she can tell you about:

Experience from  – “the dark side of the moon” – in the opinion of the organizer of youth projects:

– To which things host organizations pay attention in CV’s, motivation letters and questionnaires;

– Volunteer Activity Agreement – what it is and why you must know about this document;

– What does it mean to be a mentor;

– How to start your path in work with youth as a participant of youth projects and then, in a few years, unexpectedly become a trainer;

– How to find partners for personal initiatives;

And also:

-What you should necessarily do before you go for the ESC project;

-Golden rules in searching for the best ESC project;

– Peculiarities of work with youth with special needs;

If you meet offline, you can do it in…Kemerovo or Bodrum.

The foundation to which you should make a donation to meet with Arina – “Humanitarian action” 

Ekaterina Yudina

Kate went to the EVS project in Lithuania, where she worked with children. Before and after the project she is supporting an active life position! For example, she went to the international training in Germany.

Here is what she writes by herself:

“At the moment I’m passing the 3rd level of the project “Teach for Russia”, I can discuss this project, and also local volunteering in “Sick time’s clowns”.

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Novosibirsk or Abakan.

The foundation in which you should make a donation to meet with Ekaterina – “The House with the lighthouse”.

Vera Goriunova

Vera went with us to a couple of  international trainings, furthermore, to the short-term EVS project in Horvatia. Now she is working in a very active in the sphere of Erasmus+ Youth projects organisation “Academy of innovations”, writes and leads projects, she is full of ideas which she makes true by herself.

According to Vera, you can talk with her about:

Erasmus+, training, innovation methods in studying, wine and etc.” 

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Krakow.

Here you need to make a donation to meet with Vera – “Eldest brothers Eldest Sisters”.

Viktoria Borodina

A very interesting and eventful story – it is definitely worth talking to Vika!

“I’ll tell you about my difficult path to EVS (ESC), because I got to the project from the fifth time! I will be happy to share ideas of what you can do after the project in Europe (and not only). I will answer your questions about the Au Pair program, also I will help you to make a CV, tell you how to choose an ideal host family and what is important to talk about during your first Skype interview.

If you are planning to get a visa to another country without leaving the EU, then you should definitely come to me! In my passport there are four visas obtained at the consulates of Europe without leaving to Russia.

I will give out almost secret information on how to spend six months in the heavenly places of our planet and at the same time make money in the French hotel chain Clubmed.

Well, if you decide to study in Italy, then I am ready with great pleasure to talk about the almost free, but very bureaucratic way of entering an Italian university for a master’s or bachelor’s degree”.

If you meet offline, you can do it in… Rimini (Italy).

The foundation to which you need to make a donation to meet with Victoria is absolutely at your discretion from the list on the site.

Julia Valiakhmetova

Julia took part in EVS project in Tallinn. Being an engineer by profession, she completely changed her area of activity and worked with children – definitely, getting out of comfort zone!

“I can tell you, how to come to the project with zero English and in a year to pass interview in technical area and stay in the country of the project. And also that living by the sea is cool ;)”.

If you want to meet offline, it can be done in… Tallinn.

To meet with Julia, you need to donate to “House with lighthouse”.

Julia Zaslonova

Julia took part in EVS project in Germany where she volunteered at the… TV channel!

“During my EVS project in Germany I was in the movie which was in the cinemas, and then I shot my first documentary myself. I will help those who’s going to Germany for ESC or Au Pair: from visa to recommendations, to which shops you should go and what to buy”. 


If you’re going to meet offline, you can do it in… Verona.

Fund to which you need to make a donation to meet with Yulia – “Sisters”.

This is the whole list of our speakers.

With any questions concerning this action you can write to org.sfera@gmail.com (Irina). We hope that you liked our idea!