Inspired by the founder Kiran Bir Sethi and introduced to us by its activist, teacher trainer and a writer Chuck Sandy, the first project in Russia was made by Birobidzhan Access students in October, 2010 and continued till May, 2011. Our project called “Drug-free life” has encouraged other Russian cities (Krasnoyarsk, Nakhodka, Birobidzhan, Teploe Ozero with 170 participants) to join the movement. The problems that the students are trying to deal with are different: Krasnoyarsk, Gymnasium № 16 - “I can talk to the world” (promoting understanding between countries) , Nakhodka, the English language club “Angel” - “They won’t survive without our help” (helping homeless animals), Birobidzhan, secondary school № 1 - “Let’s make the world green!” (making their school beautiful by planting flowers in many classes), Teploe Ozero – “Our Park” – trying to make the local administration help the teenagers reconstruct a children park).
The second Access group that joined the movement this year is from Nakhodka, Primorsky krai. Together with Mr. Thomas Santos – English language officer – and their teacher Tatyana Ishchenko the students planted the first flowers that would grow into beautiful flowerbeds later in summer. During their summer camp ten Access students together with other 60 enthusiastic campers brainstormed and discussed different problems that bother them: seaside pollution, cruel attitude to endangered species, helping the elderly people and kids in orphanages, preserving natural recourses and unique historical places. What they finally chose was doing some volunteer work at their unique archeological village, making gifts for Japanese kids suffered from the earthquake, and planting more flowers around their school №1. Neither rain nor wind could interfere with the students’ willingness to finish their work and present the results to their parents, teachers, and friends. I have not yet experienced such strong emotions when 70 kids with their teachers were singing the “I can” song, and their eyes were shining with pride, happiness, joy and success.
“Small steps – big results” was a motto of the Access students in Birobidzhan who made a new project “Computer and Video Games Addiction”, and this motto is true to all the Access students in all the Russian cities. Join the movement of change makers, be the change! We are looking for you - members of the jury and active participants.
Svetlana Semenovykh, Birobidzhan Access and DFC Russia coordinator, teacher trainer: SvetlanaSemenovykh2011@yandex.ru