A Mini-Olympiad For Children Who Overcome Serious Illnesses Was Held In Moscow

A Mini-Olympiad For Children Who Overcome Serious Illnesses Was Held In Moscow
A Mini-Olympiad For Children Who Overcome Serious Illnesses Was Held In Moscow

Video: A Mini-Olympiad For Children Who Overcome Serious Illnesses Was Held In Moscow

Video: A Mini-Olympiad For Children Who Overcome Serious Illnesses Was Held In Moscow
Video: Разговоры о гимнастике №7. Яна Батыршина #гимнастика 2023, March

For the ninth time, the Games of Winners were held in Moscow, the participants of which, by tradition, were children who overcame serious illnesses and managed to return to normal life. The project was conceived and implemented by volunteers of the Give Life Foundation, created more than ten years ago to support children with cancer and severe hematological diseases. Already after the first cases of children's recovery, the fund's activists realized that their help should not end there and came up with a mini-Olympiad project.


According to the founder of the fund, actress Chulpan Khamatova: “We want the participants of the“Games of the Winners”to believe in themselves to the end after a long and difficult treatment, when their life was full of limitations.” “The child recovered, and then it turns out that the disease gave him not only experience, but also new fears, limitations, complexes. Therefore, we need rehabilitation after long months, and sometimes years, spent in a hospital ward,”she says. “After these Games, one girl wrote to us in the guest book:“Thank you for the opportunity to forget about disability and pain”. And the other got out of the wheelchair and walked the distance on crutches. Many parents say that children finally stop being afraid to live an active, normal life, stop feeling isolated from the world. And this is what we are doing the Games for,”says Khamatova.

The main goal of the Games is to show that cancer is curable. Because sometimes, even after years, children return to normal life. Different children - from 7 to 16 years old, have gone through various cancers. Sometimes it is impossible to understand at all that they were ill with something. At the same time, the participants really compete in six sports.

The event is held at a high level from the very beginning. For example, already in the first year about two hundred children from eight countries of the world took part in the Games. This year almost 600 participants from 14 countries have come to Moscow. Russia is represented by children from 32 regions; regional foundations and sometimes local authorities provide them with great assistance. According to the terms of the competition, the organizers cover all the costs of accommodation, meals and transportation of children in Moscow, but they have to get to the capital on their own. This is usually done with the help of local foundations. Once the expensive trip of a participant of the Games from Magadan was financed by the regional government.

“Of course, the Games of the Winners would not have been possible without the help of sponsors,” Chulpan Khamatova notes in this regard. “These are companies that use their advertising budgets to organize the event. The Grant Life Foundation does not spend donations to organize the Games,”she says.

In general, the issue of financing is associated with a number of problems, since, according to the charter, the fund cannot spend the money sent by benefactors sent for the treatment of children. And although Podari Zhizn has its own pool of sponsoring companies, not all of their funds can be used. For example, money spent by the company itself through the “charity” balance line cannot be used to hold large-scale events. Therefore, the fund has created an autonomous non-profit association "Games of Winners", which can be used to prepare and conduct the Games, which allows attracting sponsorship budgets to work.

For the last three years, the main, general sponsor of the Games of the winners has been the Gosloto company, which is part of the S8 Capital holding. The founder of the holding, Armen Sargsyan, has been personally involved in the work of the fund since its inception. “For three years in a row, Gosloto has been the general partner of the Games,” says Chulpan Khamatova.“This means that without the participation of the company nothing could have happened: the arrival of children, their resettlement, the holiday itself, and much more. And this is not only a sponsorship contribution, it is a personal contribution to our holiday of many employees of the company - every year I see volunteers in yellow Gosloto T-shirts at our Games,”she emphasizes. Khamatova also notes that “we have been friends with Armen Meruzhanovich for over 10 years, he supports us in many projects. And he always helps us out in the most difficult, seemingly hopeless situations."

Volunteer assistance is another important component, without which it would be impossible to host the Games. “These are people who absolutely free of charge spend all their free time on organizing the arrival of the participants, meeting them, coming up with a cultural program for them here, and much more. By the way, artists and athletes who come to reward children and simply support them are also volunteers,”says Chulpan Khamatova.

In this regard, it must be said that among the volunteers you can find many recognizable faces: movie, theater, sports, television stars, which is very valuable for children who came from all over the country. In 2018, actors Yulia Peresild and Daria Moroz, Andrey Leonov and Petr Fedorov, outstanding athletes Ekaterina Gamova and Vera Shimanskaya, TV presenters Valdis Pelsh and Ekaterina Strizhenova, singers Svetlana Loboda and Zara and many others worked at the Games site.

The volunteer army is an important part of the work of any foundation. And "Give Life" is one of the leaders of the Russian volunteer movement. In Moscow alone, several thousand people provide support to eight hospitals: they play with little patients, read books to them, show performances, watch the donor call center, buy household supplies, and take children in cars. The work requires a certain amount of emotional costs, but the "Winners Games" can easily compensate for them.

“This, of course, is a festival of some kind of pure delight,” says Nadezhda Kuznetsova, the organizer of the Games, the permanent leader of the “Games of Winners” project. “In terms of the energy and involvement of children in competition, you would never think that until recently they endured endless chemotherapy sessions. They run, they compete, they cheer for each other, they scream. As a mother of two children, I pay a lot of attention to mothers of recovered children. It would seem that everything, you can forget, the disease has receded, but they are so used to living in constant stress that it seems that it will never end. But it was at the stadium that I began to catch this moment when my mothers suddenly let go and they forget about the hard experience they had endured. This all costs a lot both for themselves and for us, the volunteers who arrange a holiday for them,”she says.

As Nadezhda notes, volunteers are happy to sign up for the Games. Usually up to 600 volunteer counselors take part in them. The counselor spends five days with the children, plus he takes part in an excursion and concert program.

Nadezhda also spoke a little about the history of the movement. “In 2006 I came to the hospital, there was not even a fund yet, we just went to make a New Year's holiday for the children in the hospital and stayed. “I was a volunteer for three years, and the Games grew out of hospital volunteering. Being in the hospital, living everything with the guys, I want to shift attention away from problems: blood, money, medicine, I want to show that work is not about problems. After all, many children get well,”emphasizes Kuznetsova.

According to her, after the Games of the Winners began to be held in 2010, volunteering acquired another additional meaning. “You don't see the same children in hospital wards. And no longer pity, not a desire to help. You feel great happiness. The children managed to win, get well, and strengthen their character,”sums up Nadezhda Kuznetsova.

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