High Commissioner held “Hasten to Do Good” medal ceremony

22 December 2017

December 22, at the Helikon-Opera Moscow Music Theater, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova held the 12th High Commissioner’s medal «Hasten to Do Good» award ceremony, which was the latest event in the series of activities dedicated to the day of adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the Federal Constitutional Law «On the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation».

The tradition of awarding the medal «Hasten to Do Good» was started in 2005 by Vladimir Lukin. Not human rights activists are awarded, but ordinary people who have committed great deeds. Different people, different destinies, but all of them are united by the main thing — the ability to sympathize with misfortunes of others, the unwillingness to stay aside, the desire to help.

As good deeds do not have nationality, religion and age, so the High Commissioner’s medal does not have the usual boundaries. According to the Provision on the Medal, it can be awarded both to citizens of Russia and other states, as well as to public organizations. The criteria for awarding the High Commissioner’s medal are dedication, heroism and courage, manifested in a situation of a real threat to human rights and deeds committed by the will of the heart and sometimes beyond the bounds of possibility. This year 10 people became the laureates of the medal «Hasten to Do Good», united by unselfish and generous service to the great idea of doing good and charity.

Mother superior of the Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy Abbess Elizabeth became the winner of the medal. In their daily service, the sisters of the convent are guided by the law of mercy and good, assist those who are in difficult circumstances and need support: they help to rehabilitate children suffering from cerebral palsy; render multifunctional qualified assistance to terminally ill children and their parents; organize a round-the-clock stay for disabled children.

Lyubov Katz from the Vladimir Region was awarded with the medal «Hasten to Do Good». This is the rare case when a family drama connected with the disability of a child has become an impetus to find one’s calling and the whole life’s work. Having started with addressing the illness and rehabilitation of her son Misha, Lyubov Katz has become today the most famous defender of the rights of disabled children in the region and one of the most famous figures in the nonprofit sector.

Natalia Popova who heads the Krasnodar non-profit organization «Charitable Programs Development Center ‘The Corner of Mercy’», was honored with the award for invaluable assistance and protection of the interests of disabled children. Among the wards of the organization — more than 500 families bringing up children with disabilities. This, perhaps, is the only organization in the region that deals with children, which in general cannot be cured. But one can help them live in society, and help society live with them.

Medal of the High Commissioner was received by director of the Yamal Children’s Charitable Fund «Yamine» Dmitry Frolov. The main objectives of the fund are to facilitate the organization of medical and diagnostic care for seriously ill children, disabled children and their families: assistance is provided for co-financing high-tech treatment and social adaptation of children with special needs, medicines and technical rehabilitation means are purchased in case they cannot be obtained from the budget. During the fund’s work, about 2000 children received help, which is almost 85% of the total number of disabled children living in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.

«We work for the sake of children’s smiles» — this is the motto of the Charitable Public Organization «The Children of Pavlovsk», which formulated its mission in only two words: social integration. The organization was founded in 2014 by a team of professional volunteers. Currently, «The Children of Pavlovsk» organize targeted support for 15 adult alumni of the orphanage and their goal is the wards’ successful integration into society. The founders of the Charitable Organization «The Children of Pavlovsk» are trying to do everything to make the life of their «special» pupils more joyful and expand their world. Medal of the High Commissioner was presented to director of the organization Daria Kalach.

The laureate of the High Commissioner’s medal was Dmitry Balykin from Nizhny Novgorod, who proved that limited opportunities should not prevent a person from living a full life. Dmitry Balykin was born blind, but this fact did not stop him from graduating from a university with honors and becoming a highly qualified lawyer. When he was a 4th-year student, he was offered participation in a competition. Students with various forms of disability were to write essays about the vision of their professional future. Dmitry came to the finals, and as a result he was offered the position of assistant lawyer in the public organization «Invatur». Despite the fact that the salary offered was modest, Dmitry agreed. Today Dmitry there are hundreds of consultations, legal support of cases in courts, and realized grant projects under his belt.

The award was presented to Honored Artist of the Republic of Crimea Ksenia Simonova-Paskar for contribution to charity and attraction of public attention to the problems of protection of basic human rights — the right to life and the right to health. For several years she has been creating small sand movies and videos about those sick children who need expensive treatment and rehabilitation. Ksenia has created more than 60 film stories about children with cancer and those who need help. In 2007, Ksenia founded the «Zhivi, Solnyshko» public movement, whose volunteers actively help to raise money for the treatment of seriously ill children.

Driver Sergey Blokhin is known today all over the country as a hero who saved 38 children from Ekaterinburg on the highway near Rostov. On November 8, Sergey Blokhin drove a bus with children. Schoolchildren from Yekaterinburg with five escorts were touring the Golden Ring. Suddenly a 20-ton truck rushed out towards the bus from a subsidiary road. Trying to protect the children, Sergey put the driver’s cabin in harm’s way and saved 44 lives. However, that same night, Sergey died in intensive care from the resulting serious injuries. For heroism manifested in an emergency situation, Sergey Blokhin was posthumously awarded the medal of the High Commissioner.

«House of diligence Noah» is created for people who have been left without a roof over their heads, but are determined to start over and change life for the better. In the social house of diligence people become full members of society: they work, they get paid, they restore documents and create families, but most importantly they lead a healthy lifestyle. Today, «Noah» has 13 branches in Moscow and the Moscow Region, where about 600 people live. The medal «Hasten to Do Good» was awarded to Olga Fomina, who deals with social issues in the organization: providing direct assistance in carrying out social adaptation of persons without a specific place of residence, lost socially useful connections, and providing legal support.

This year marks 150-anniversary of the formation of, perhaps, the most famous public organization in the country — the Russian Red Cross. This is the oldest and most massive charitable organization in Russia. The laureate of the High Commissioner’s medal was chairman of the All-Russian public organization «Russian Red Cross», member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Raisa Lukutcova. She devoted her entire life to protecting the health of citizens, for many years successfully and effectively manages the oldest and most authoritative public organization of the country.

The showy completion of the ceremony was the famous operetta «The Bat», created with the participation of the great Mstislav Rostropovich.

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