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INFORMATION ON THE PROGRAM “RUSSIAN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER INITIATIVE” (RAVI)

The programme “Russıan-Amerıcan Volunteer Initiative” is a bilateral Presidential Initiative – the outcome of the highest-level meeting of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the President of the USA George Bush (September 2003, Camp David). The Program was launched 2004.

The program aims to strengthen friendship and understanding between youth of Russia and the USA by organising youth volunteer internships in Russia and the United States.

The organisators in Russia are All-Russian non-governmental organisation “Russian Union of Youth” (RUY) and International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), which as well is the main organisator on the territory of the United States.

RAVI is financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (2004-2006), State Department of the USA (2004-2005), Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (2006). The assistance was provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Security Council of Russia. The US Committee of the International Council on monuments and sites (US/ICOMOS) provided the placement of the volunteers in the USA and was the main partner on thematic topic “cultural and historical preservation”.

RAVI provides to Russian and US volunteers with 2 months internship in Russian and US NGOs and state structures. At the end of the program volunteers take part in follow on grant program.

Launched in 2004 RAVI program included the following thematic topics: HIV/AIDS prevention (2004-2005), cultural and historical heritage preservation (2004-2005), improved use of informational and communicational technology for marginalised group (2004).

2006 year program was modified and directed to the promotion of the healthy life style including tobacco and drug addiction prevention, sexual diseases, sports, healthy nutrition and healthy life style and also the social development of the regions involving student self-government, help to children with limited abilities, help to people from social risks group, volunteerism development.

86 Russian and 78 USA volunteers contributed to Russian and USA society through their internship in 35 Russian and 37 United States organisations in 2004-2006.

In the period of 2004-2006 the programme covered 134 cities of Russia and USA. These are the places where the internship took place and where the volunteers coming back home implement there projects attracting people into volunteerism development.

As an example, more than 600 people from 6 regions of the Russian Federation took part in the activities organised by the US volunteers in Kemero, Irkutsk, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Sverdlovsk and Republick of Buryatia.

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