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“In the north, helping each other is a must”

More than 2,5 thousand people joined the volunteer corps in Yakutia to help people in self-isolation

The Republican volunteer corps began its work in Yakutia in March. Today, volunteer units operate in all areas of the republic. Volunteers purchase and deliver food and medicine to older people, take on household issues and even walk their pets.

“In the north, helping each other is a must”

Alena Kychkina

Regional coordinator of medical volunteers, director of the center for working with volunteers in Yakutia

Now in Yakutia there are already more than 2,5 thousand people, and several dozen “new recruits” join us daily. Among the volunteers, people of different professions and different ages, the youngest - 16 years old, the oldest, "silver volunteers" - over 50. Schoolchildren and "silver volunteers" work as "online volunteers." Their responsibilities include consulting and answering questions, communicating with people who need help, scheduling, and coordinating deliveries.

In the Republican Center, each of the volunteers has their own responsibilities. Someone is responsible for working with districts, someone is responsible for working with shops or pharmacies. When we receive an order from an elderly person, we contact the stores, inform you which goods are needed. In the store, goods and products are collected and packaged, and our volunteer does not waste time. He can only pick up the box and deliver it to the address that is indicated on it.

Applications from elderly and disabled people are accepted into a single free federal call center of the project MYVMEST 2020.RF, which was launched in the country on the initiative of the All-Russian Popular Front. Now comes to us from 300 requests for help per day. And the total number of applications processed throughout the republic from late March to the first half of May is more than 16 thousand.

All volunteers are required to receive personal protective equipment - masks, gloves. At the entrance to the premises of the volunteer center there is always a sanitizer, each incoming person handles his hands, this is a mandatory procedure, as well as temperature measurement, we do this in a non-contact way.

All volunteers undergo two-stage training: first, online, and then directly at the volunteer center, here we check the certificate of online training and conduct additional safety training. The most important is the rule of contactless delivery: delivered, called, left the box on the doorstep, waited for the goods to be taken - and to the next address. We do not enter apartments, so as not to put unnecessary risk to the elderly or ourselves.

Every day is unlike the previous one. We had one grandmother who asked to buy her products. And not just contacted, but sent an application to WhatsApp - with photos of specific products, addresses of stores where they should be bought, and even indicating the shelves where they stand! The guys took the order to her home, and did not immediately find her address, and then she sent them a screen from the Google map. And when they finally got to her and met, they were just stunned - she was under 90 years old!

Many support us in the republic. The trade union organization of students of NEFU has provided us laptops for a call center, for example. Several automobile vehicles of the administration of the head and government of Yakutia are attached to the Republican volunteer corps in Yakutsk. Many guys carry orders in their personal cars. Across the republic, more than 300 vehicles were involved in volunteering. By car, the guys manage to do 4-5 trips a day. There are guys who use public transport, and they have free travel.

Of course, there is a risk, and we understand that. But someone has to do this work. And why not us? And yet, this work is special, of course. When you understand that you really helped a person, when you hear words of gratitude and good wishes, this is an amazing feeling. So many meetings, so many stories, so many amazing people that you or your friends meet every day - well, where else can you get so many impressions and emotions?

In the north, in Yakutia, helping each other is an obligatory rule. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have survived here. And we will also cope with this infection - all together, supporting each other. I'm sure.

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