Kazan hosted a motivational session of the inclusive project titled "You can do anything!”

17 april 2023

On April 15, Kazan hosted a meeting for inclusive communities as part of the interregional project “You Can Do Anything!”, organized jointly with Tatarstan’s Republican Branch of the All-Russian Society of the Disabled. The event’s objective was to show its attendees, mostly people with disabilities, that one’s willpower, unbending character, and caring attitude can help anyone become successful.

Since last year, the Formula for Good Deeds, our social investment program, has been pursuing an additional track of activity focusing on inclusion. As a result, there is now a separate category in all contests implemented as part of the program focusing on inclusion. Its flagship initiative is the "You can do anything!” project. We have been holding the project's motivational meetings for two years now, and every time we have succeeded in breaking the stereotypes that exist about inclusive communities in the cities where SIBUR operates. When our meetings’ participants hear successful people with disabilities discuss their own stories of overcoming challenging and getting out of their comfort zone, they start looking at the world around them differently realizing that they actually have many more opportunities for enjoying an active life. I enjoy attending these motivational meetings because I myself get a boost of positive energy from our speakers, Elena Snezhko, head of the Formula for Good Deeds social investment program, pointed out.

Natalya Ryzhova, an adaptive cross-fit athlete, a Master of Sports in track and field and archery, not only spoke about her athletic career, but even sang one of her own songs at the gathering. Alexander Golovatenko, Director of the Social Center-SOS (Pomoshch (Help) in the Republic of Tatarstan, shared his story of getting involved in community work after having survived three clinical deaths. Aleksey Trantsev and Darya Suloyeva, moderators of the inclusive City of Opportunities blog, spoke about their successful work on social networks. Their blog, launched in 2022 as part of the "You can do anything!" project, posts training materials on representing disability on social media, shares best practices of various other inclusive projects and stories by members of the community, as well as information and notices about inclusive events.

We are extremely happy that the "You can do anything!" project has come to Kazan! Such meetings motivate you not to give up no matter what and teach you to believe more in your abilities. It is especially important for those who have recently become disabled and have not yet adapted to their new reality. Our many thanks to all the speakers for their sincere and yet simple stories about the difficulties they had faced in life and what they did to overcome them. It is only in such a friendly and informal atmosphere that one can start thinking earnestly about what we can really do with our lives, Rifat Ganibayev, Chairman of Tatarstan’s Republican Branch of the All-Russian Society of the Disabled, noted.

The motivational session has become yet another inclusive initiative that SIBUR would be supporting in Kazan since the start of 2022.
Kazan has been home to various inclusive projects implemented under the Formula for Good Deeds since 2023. Thanks to SIBUR’s grant support, a theater laboratory for children with disabilities will be organized on the premises of the Kazan Theater of Young Spectators, the S. Said-Galiyev Palace of Culture will host a national festival of artistic creativity of people with disabilities titled "Let’s hold hands, friends!", while the Kazan Kremlin will be hosting an inclusive museum and camp for blind and visually impaired children. On top of that, thanks to SIBUR's cooperation with the Russian Football Union, last year the city hosted the Will of Steel All-Russian Football Tournament for people with disabilities and health limitations. This motivational session was our yet another contribution to forging an inclusive environment here in Kazan, Airat Safin, CEO of Kazanorgsintez, commented.

A total of more than 70 residents of Kazan attended the session that was open to anyone. The event was made fully accessible for low mobility individuals.
Our city’s Executive Committee has been making quite an effort to create an accessible environment in Kazan. The Moskovsky Cultural Center, where the session was held, is just one of the many accessible venues that all Kazan residents and the city’s guests can visit and enjoy. That said, a truly inclusive society is also about certain values, about accepting people with differences and disabilities. Plus, this is also about these people’s strong motivation, their desire to have a fulfilling life. That's why I am personally very supportive of the idea of holding such motivational sessions for inclusive communities, as our event has struck a chord with everyone, Natalia Karimova, Acting Head of Social Policy at Kazan’s Executive Committee, noted.

Meetings such as this are much needed for one to be able to interact with one’s colleagues from the public sector, to share experiences. Every gathering like that means making acquaintances with like-minded people, those with whom we would then be meeting regularly going forward. They are also about motivating stories on overcoming life's challenges. That's the reason why I decided to travel to such a unique motivational meeting from another region, Andrey Mikhailov, a representative of "Svoboda”, a Chuvash Republic-based regional non-governmental organization for providing social support and protection to fellow citizens, who came to the meeting from the city of Cheboksary, pointed out.