One good deed is one life saved!
30 july 2021
Our choice of the theme for the July issue of the Formula for Good Deeds’ charity digest was inspired by a letter we got from Daria Kochubey, a volunteer at the Moscow City Animal Protection Foundation and a former social development specialist with SIBUR's primary trade union organization.
During her tenure with the company, she had become known as an active participant of volunteers’ visits to elderly people, the wards of the Dr. Lisa Foundation, and to homeless animals’ shelters, and such campaigns as Back to School Soon and Get to Be a Santa Claus! We could not, of course, ignore her letter pleading us to help the Foundation's wards, and so we jointly prepared a piece on helping animals.
Daria, could you tell us how you got yourself involved in performing good deeds?
I made my very first steps as a fledgling volunteer back when I was still in school. We built houses for cats and kittens out of boxes and played with stray dogs. I acted and sang for elderly people from nursing homes in a children's theater and participated in charity events for families going through tough times. As a student, I was a member of various non-profit movements and organizations helping people in need and animals. Since 2007, I have produced TV pieces on various social issues, and have traveled with our filming crew to animal shelters and told people about our World War II veterans.
Why do you think it is important to help others?
I've always wanted to change the way things are with injustice and inequity in this world. When I became an adult, I realized that while it may not be possible to change the world in a fundamental kind of way one can still make a contribution, make a difference.
Could you give us an example of such a minor contribution?
Yes, sure. For example, last year I volunteered for the #wearetogether and #giftfood project delivering food to a young woman with diabetes who was out of work and left without support and with two little daughters in her custody. After talking to her, I realized the full severity of her situation and helped get her eldest daughter ready for school. By the way, my former colleagues from SIBUR helped me with packing her backpack with school supplies!
Why did you choose to help homeless animals?
I believe that respectful attitude toward people, animals and nature is the duty of each of us, an important phase in developing one’s inner spiritual world. Saving someone's life, fighting for another person’s healing gives you incredible motivation and self-confidence, allows you to feel and see the power of your participation even if it’s a minor thing.
Could you share with us how you got into helping the City Animal Protection Foundation?
I learned about the Foundation‘s existence earlier this year. This organization protects the rights of homeless animals, is involved in neutering and treating the animals, looking for their guardians and new owners, collecting pet food for people feeding stray cats and dogs in housing areas. The Foundation has set up a Cats in the City hotline with its operators advising callers on how to act if they find a sick animal, where to go, where to find a clinic, how to find a new home for the animals, and so on. Having seen them in action, I decided to join them and wrote them a letter on their website. They responded right away telling me that they needed help with volunteers, car-driving volunteer, information and PR support, cat adoptions and much more. I have been a volunteer with the Foundation since March 2021, along with KotoBureau, a social co-working and animal shelter. I am also a senior volunteer for the Zoomonitoring and Feed’em projects in Moscow’s South West.
What does your volunteering for the Foundation involve?
First of all, this includes outreach work on social media, posting announcements of upcoming events and articles about the Foundation on various internet resources. I tell all my friends and acquaintances about the existence of our Foundation, and perhaps someone will also want to become a volunteer or to help. I am also always ready to take a sick animal to a vet, help develop campaigns and training courses on animal-help volunteerism. Since May, as part of our Zoomonitoring project, I have been counting stray kittens and keeping statistics for Moscow’s South-Western Administrative District. Together with other volunteers, we go around the area’s housing developments looking for animals and their guardians. I urge everyone to join us – we are having so much fun!
Would you tell us more about KotoBureau, your social co-working setup, what exactly is it?
Animals in a difficult situation, once rescued by the Foundation, are placed in the KotoBureau. This is the first cat co-working space in Russia that also includes an anti-café and an open-air animal shelter. As of today, there 27 cats looking for a new home living at our shelter. The co-working space can be used to hold events, teambuilding sessions, celebrate holidays or birthdays. You can even work there! We have everything you need for a quiet day of work, with all necessary security measures in place. We will be happy if you chose to visit us at Moscow, Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya Street, 21/4. It’s just a 7-minute walk from Mayakovskaya metro station.
Daria, thank you very much for your invitation! How else can we help these animals?
There are several ways you can help the Foundation.
- By donating cash. Since the Foundation has no sponsors, all its resources come in the form of donations by caring donors and via small grants. Every month, we post all our spending reports on the website of the city of Moscow at www.mos.ru. To donate right now, follow this link.
- By collecting pet food for the #Feed’em project. #Feed’em is the only project created for taking care of stray city animals. We collect pet food for homeless animals to be passed on to people who feed stray cats and dogs near their homes. We save from starvation 12,000 homeless cats and 4,500 dogs so food is always scarce. You can help with collecting pet food from the comfort of your home by placing an order on the website of the Staraya Ferma chain or at the Zoonyam pet store. Or you can buy pet food and place it inside one of our boxes as shown on the map.
- By supporting the Cats in the City hotline. Anyone can help by donating cash, by setting up a collecting receptacle, or by becoming a hotline operator. See further details on our website.
- By providing information support! You will help us a lot if you spread the word about the Foundation and what it does on social media. By the way, be sure to join us on Instagram @urbananimalfund!
To learn more about the Foundation and its programs, visit its official website at this link.
Colleagues, may we remind you that, starting last year, SIBUR’s enterprises and offices in Krasnodar, Moscow, Tobolsk, Tomsk and Tyumen have been featuring Help dogs and cats donation boxes for collecting pet food and other necessary items for homeless animals. As the boxes fill up, our volunteers pass these donations on to the city's animal shelters. To find out exactly what kind of help is needed in a given city, check information on the boxes or email the volunteering program’s coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you missed our past issues:
• About SIBUR's Moscow-based employees providing volunteering assistance to the Choose Life Foundation helping children with cancer and hematological diseases
• Let's help renovate the Kind House for people with developmental disabilities
• A chance for life for children with cerebral palsy
• Marina Yefimova: "There are no trouble children, but there are hard life circumstances”.
• By taking care of our elderly, we are taking care of our future
• More donors mean more lives saved