27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Tanzilya Nigmatullina: The volunteer movement is an outlet for young altruists

Over 1,000 representatives of various Russian universities visited Kazan during the days of the 27th Summer Universiade. Tanzilya Nigmatullina is just one of them, she is the Director of the Bashkir Institute of Social Technologies of the Educational trade union establishment of higher professional education Academy of Labour and Social Relations, as well as the head of the UNESCO-UNEVOK center for the Russian Federation. We asked Tanzilya a few questions.

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Tanzilya Altafovna, what are your impressions of Kazan?

First of all, I would like to congratulate all the participants and guests of Kazan with the 27th Summer Universiade. This is a very important event for Russia. Our country has only hosted the Universiade once before, in Moscow in 1973. Moscow’s experience was unique and everything that we saw there was perfect too, but what we see in Kazan now exceeded all of our expectations.

The fact that the preparations for the Universiade were serious can be felt everywhere. Kazan has transformed, you can barely recognize her now. New technologies can be seen within the construction of the sports venues, within the sphere of services and in the organization of the volunteer movement. The scale of the event is striking,  and, of course, so are the people – they are very friendly and positively minded towards all Games participants, both Russian and foreign.

Everything has been done very professionally and conscientiously. Today, Kazan can rightly be called the third capital of Russia.

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Who is included in your delegation and what kind of meetings did you hold in Kazan?

We arrived here together with Ramil Dilmukhametov, Deputy Head of the Administration of the Ufa urban district, Marat Galiullin, Deputy Head of the Administration of the Ufa urban district, Head of the Directorate in charge of organizing and conducting the SCO and BRICS summits, and Sergei Stepanov, Chairman of the Committee for Physical Education and Sport in the Administration of the Ufa urban district.

We were very interested in seeing how this event was organized, the new sports venues, seeing the preparation of the supporting personnel and the work of the volunteers.

During our visit, we met with Deputy Head of the Executive Committee of the city of Kazan in charge of organizing the 27th World University Summer Games 2013 Ruslan Shakirov, Chairman of the Committee in charge of Organizing and Conducting the Universiade, Marat Kornilov, and the heads of the organisations in charge of accommodation, food and transport.

We visited the sports venues, the residential district Universiade Village and some competitions during the Games. We also discussed the possibility of using the projects and sports venues utilized for the Universiade during a similar event in Ufa.

Volunteers not only from Kazan, but from all over Russia are working at the Universiade. Are there any volunteers from Bashkortostan among them?

Absolutely. Our young people could not just stand on the sidelines during an event like this. The 85 most active representatives of the Bashkortostan student body are working at various venues during the Universiade. We also met with them in the Yudino region during our visit. They are very happy both with their accommodations and with the atmosphere. They are in high spirits! They have seen a lot of things and befriended interesting people. The students also noted that they feel good knowing they are needed and to see the results of their volunteer mission. They are doing everything they can to make sure the participants and guests at the Universiade are comfortable, since it’s clear to see that the overall impression not just of Kazan, but of Russia as a whole, depends a lot on small things like that.

We will get a better understanding of the students’ opinion about volunteering from the results of the sociological questionnaire which we are conducting.

Could you please tell us what motivates your special interest in the volunteers?

It is true that the theme of volunteering is well known at the university where I work. We are a Resource Research and Education Center for UNESCO in the Republic of Bashkortostan, and volunteering is one of the subject areas of our research. I’ll give an example. During the recent national Russian contest “My country – my Russia”, our students presented a project titled “The technology of legal consciousness – through youth volunteering”, where they present solutions to forming legal literacy and legal awareness using the examples already created and actively used by organizations like the Children's Public Chamber under the Legal Committee of the Republic of Bashkortostan for UNESCO, the Legal Clinic, Financial Services and the University of the Third Generation. The relevance of the project and the degree of its elaboration can be attested by the fact that the author won a prize.

We have a very active youth which is striving to be useful to society. We believe that volunteering nurtures strong patriotic feelings and a feeling of pride for your homeland. The Universiade is just one more opportunity to really show what you can do, to realize your potential. 

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate