Evgeniya Medvedeva: "Volunteering is a way to improve oneself"

28 january 2022

Our January interview, published under the heading of "About people and good deeds", features a conversation we had with Yevgenia Medvedeva, Assistant to the Chief Engineer at Sibur-Khimprom, discussing the benefits of volunteering and taking a closer look at the initiatives of the company’s volunteers.

Eugenia, how did you get into volunteering?
It all started when I became a part of that culture. At SIBUR, I met and started networking with people who were truly passionate about it. I am referring to Sibur-Khimprom’s volunteers and the company’s Youth Council. I had not been involved in volunteering prior to joining SIBUR but the more I did it, the more I got involved in this culture.

But why did you decide to become a volunteer and why do you keep doing it? What is it that drives Evgeniya Medvedeva the volunteer?
— I'm drawn to it. Above all, I treat every volunteering initiative as a project, a challenging and yet very exciting task with a tangible output at the end: doing something that feels right, something useful, something that makes me take pleasure in the final outcome. For me, being a volunteer is a way for me to grow as a person and a professional. And, of course, a way to make the world a better place.

What advice would you give to those of our readers who are just starting out as volunteers? Any helpful tips?
I'll share with you what I overlooked initially but embraced later. If your volunteering project requires a bigger team, you will have to issue personalized invitations. By spreading the word just through your regular formal channels, you will only attract those volunteers who are already involved in other projects. If your team needs expanding, it is vital to invite people on a personal basis, that’s how it works. You need to be able to establish informal channels of communication with other people. This is the lesson I learned very well.

What role does the Youth Council play in Sibur-Khimprom's volunteering movement?

The Youth Council is at the core of Sibur-Khimprom's volunteering movement. It is the centerpiece of informal volunteers’ communications that are vital for any project. The events that are organized by the Council help maintain these informal liaisons. The leaders of the Youth Council take part in all volunteering projects and help expand the project team by engaging the company’s young employees.

Let us now talk about some specific projects. Which of Sibur-Khimprom's volunteering activities do you find to be the most significant of all, and why?
Our most important project is our annual visits with a New Year's entertainment program to children with disabilities living in a small town of Kudymkar, Perm Krai, located 200 km away from Perm (they are the charges of Special Children of Kudymkar, a local nonprofit organization, Ed.). The project is already well known throughout our company, and we do not need to issue a special invitation to participate, volunteers are looking forward to taking part in it all year round. We have been visiting these children since 2017. Usually, we arrive there early in the morning with well-rehearsed master classes, props and a children's fairytale show. In Kudymkar, they already know us and expect us, calling us 2 or 3 months in advance to confirm the visit. We take our preparations for the fairy tale show very seriously, we thoroughly rehearse it at home and at the production facility. All of our volunteers are very much involved in this project, and everyone has a very positive attitude. The children of Kudymkar enjoy this festive performance immensely, it is normally attended by more than 100 little spectators. Each time it turns into a very emotional and homey event.

What lessons can one learn from the project in Kudymkar?

Firstly, it is important to clearly understand who the target audience of your volunteering project is and what their expectations are. Secondly, you have to work with trusted partners. And thirdly, you need to understand the impact of what you are doing.

We have been working with a local non-profit organization from Kudymkar that knows the target audience's needs, understands people's expectations, and can set up a celebratory event on the spot. The period between December and January is the time for expecting some magic and miracles to happen. For the children of Kudymkar, our performance is their principal New Year's party. Nobody else does these kind of celebrations for them.

The company’s employees visit shelters for abandoned animals. Who are they helping there and in what ways?
We visit such shelters for stray animals at least 2 or 3 times a year. Many members of our staff love to go on these visits, because they can take their children with them and take the animals for a walk. We go to those shelters that have set up a system that involves working with volunteers. We do not just help with walking dogs, although that is the most favorite thing to do for our volunteers, especially children. Adult volunteers most often help with cleaning up the shelters' grounds: these shelters tend to occupy large areas and there is not enough manpower to keep their grounds clean. As a rule, we help to remove snow during the winter and in early spring. Last year we cleared the grounds of a municipal shelter of glass and other debris to prevent the animals from getting injured. There were especially many broken glass bottles. We always bring with us pet food for the animals, cleaning rags and other things the shelters need.

I know that the company's volunteers help one of the departments at the Perm Center for Children Left Without Parental Care. Please tell us a little more about this initiative.
Indeed, we do have such an institution for orphans in the city’s Kirovsky district. The department we keep under our patronage needs regular help with cleaning up and taking care of their grounds. During winter we collect warm clothes for the children including hats, mittens and scarves. They often lose them, and there is always a shortage of such items. We try to handmake all these things, and we even ask our friends to chip in. Some of the volunteers bring their own possessions because their children have already grown up but they may still keep their hats and mittens around.

And, finally, let me ask you about your plans for the nearest future. Are you currently working on an idea for a new project or projects?
I really want to organize a Fun Starts sporting event for special children to be held in Perm’s Industrialny District, where I myself live and where many of my colleagues live. We have a lot of props left over from our other projects that we could use for this one. Perhaps we are going to be able to time this event to coincide with the next Maslenitsa, the Butter Week celebration.
There is a school for special children with its own school stadium located in the Industrialny District, but the stadium is quite dilapidated. That's why for the Fun Starts to succeed we will have to organize a small eco campaign to clean up the stadium’s grounds. I'd very much like to see such a project happen and make it a regular occurrence going forward. I will try very hard to make this idea a reality.

Find out more about the good deeds of SIBUR's volunteers on Instagram at

Send us your positive stories about helping others to our email address at, and we'll be sure to showcase them in our future issues!

In case you missed our past issues:


  • Galina Tkachenko: “It is essential to be united to do as much good as possible in this world”
  • Yana Prikhodko: "It’s an inner calling when values start to resonate within you and compel you to act”.
  • Svetlana Kulakova: "The key thing in conservation projects is to love one’s homeland”.
  • Alla Umetskaya: "The grant contest is an opportunity to try oneself as a miracle worker”
  • Svetlana Grigoriyeva: “The only secret of success is trust”.
  • Marina Yefimova: “There are no trouble children, but there are hard life circumstances”.