In early August 2019, 132 volunteers from USA, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and UK took part in an international volunteer camp in the northwest region of Russia. Organised about 240 km from St. Petersburg, the camp included activities in medical services, repair and construction, social services and education. The medical team, composed of therapists, dermatologist, psychologists, endocrinologist, ophthalmologists, optometrist, paediatrician, rheumatologists, gastroenterologist, and reflexologist served more than 2,500 patients, who also received information on healthy lifestyles and how to prevent illnesses.
The 18-member repair and construction team worked at six different sites. They installed electrical equipment in a nearby city, renovated a local school ground and sealed cracks in the walls, and updated the facades of a local polyclinic. They also repaired a sidewalk for the city hospital and installed water heaters in each room for the hospital. Finally, they removed mould from a local kindergarten which made the local parents extremely happy as the facility would have been shut down otherwise.
The social service team prepared packages, which contained pasta, buckwheat, cookies, and soap and other essential items. Children also drew motivational pictures and placed them in the packages, which were distributed to families in need.
The education team organised a programme titled, “The Way of Good”. Some classes included character development, overcoming obstacles and community service. Sports and nature were often used as examples to teach these lessons. In six kindergarten classes, musical programmes were held, and a puppet show demonstrated the values of having a good heart. SSIO volunteers held about 80 classes serving 267 children and 9 seminars were given on spiritual matters for 79 adults. At the end of the camp, the volunteers staged a musical concert for the community and served many delicacies.