Social projects implementation is an essential part of Rostelecom corporate social responsibility. The Company believes that its mission is not just to offer quality services to its customers, but also to assist in development of local communities in regions where it operates, facilitate sustainable social environment and improving quality of life in the country.
Social project management adheres to a holistic approach, complies with the Russian Federation law, the Company's Charter and is guided by the following principles:
Rostelecom handles socially significant projects throughout the entire territory of Russia – from Kaliningrad Region in the west to the island of Sakhalin in the east, with the Company's approach to implementation of its social role being universal for all regions, thus providing an opportunity to ensure maximal efficiency of projects aimed at solving most vital social problems.
Теchnologies, being the Company's key asset, underlie its social activities. The Company's own infrastructure and a wide range of offered services enable Rostelecom to effectively handle problems of specific population groups and address more complicated issues in such spheres of society as education, sports, culture and charity.
We feel confident that a specific social problem is a complex mechanism of interrelated elements. While handling such problems Rostelecom takes into consideration all aspects of a specific problem and executes projects of any scale at the highest professional level.
We believe that the Company's positive social role can only be fully fulfilled through persistent long-lasting efforts, so all our programs are of a long term nature.
Rostelecom traditionally supports education projects, opening new areas and advancing the existing ones. The emphasis is placed on training highly efficient experts in the field of telecommunications, information security for younger generation and bridging the digital gap.
"Internet ABC Book"
In 2014 Rostelecom and the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation signed an agreement on collaboration in teaching senior citizens computer skills. The main goal is to enhance the life quality through teaching to work on a computer and development of Internet skills. A special reference-book called "Internet ABC Book" has been prepared under the Agreement. It can be used as a teach yourself book and as a reference book for specialized training centers of computer literacy for pensioners that are widely spread throughout Russia. Besides that, an electronic version of the book has been made under the project which is available on the education Web portal www.azbukainterneta.ru. The portal also contains best practices guidelines, audio-visual aids, presentations and useful references.
The Company believes that free distribution of the book will make it possible to increase the number of pensioners with computer and Internet skills and facilitate access to public e-services for the elderly.
The first groups for training under the "Internet ABC Book" program were formed in Bryansk, Volgograd, Vologda, Tula and Stavropol. In September 2014 training started at specialized computer centers. In Nizhny Novgorod and Nizhny Novgorod Region the social security authorities allocated 128 computer rooms and hold regular classes for pensioners and people with disabilities. Other regions like Ural, Siberian and Southern Federal Districts, have started to implement the practice adopted in the Volga area.
For several years Rostelecom and the youth volunteer organization "АISEK" have been implementing the IT-Advancement Project which allows senior high-school students to understand current information technologies and gives them an idea of advanced high-tech services of fixed-line and mobile communications.
Early in 2014 promising young experts and foreign volunteers held interactive workshops under the IT-Advancement Project in Moscow, Omsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Chеlyabinsk, Sаmara and St. Petersburg. The workshops were held in English on the following topics: "History of development of the IT-industry in Russia and worldwide", "Success stories of celebrities/companies active in the IT-industry", "Future of the IT-industry. Development prospects", "Demand for IT-specialists in Russia and worldwide", "Prospects of making a career in the IT-sphere for the youth".
Altogether 145 foreign students from 10 сcountries of the world – Brazil, Columbia, India, China, Еgypt, Тurkey, Italy, Czechia, Poland and the Philippines took part in the workshops for high-school students.
In the second season of the project that was held in five Russian cities from 15 September to 15 October 2014, the Company employees gave to the young boys and girls the idea of new telecommunication technologies and arranged visits to telecommunication museums in Rostelecom multimedia centers.
"Learn the Internet and Manage it"
This social project of Rostelecom and Coordination Center of the National Internet Domain aimed at enhancement of Internet literacy of rising generation was launched in September 2011. The Project offers a popular and interesting form of getting an idea of the worldwide web capabilities and gives basic knowledge of the network architecture and operation principles. The Project launched an All-Russia Internet game competition in which high-school as well as college and university students are involved.
"Learn the Internet and Manage it" – that is the name of this flash game patterned after "Your own game". It was the third championship that was held in 2014. It becomes more and more popular not only with the participants, but with education and IT-mass media as well as teaching community: Russian teachers began to include the online game module in the school information science curricula, while some schools have held their own events.
The Midday project
Since 2013 Rostelecom and Society of Educational and Creative Leisure Activities "Games of the Future" have been developing an interactive and educational module for career guidance in telecommunications. Within this framework the Midday project for social adaptation of children from orphanages is being implemented aimed at enabling children to develop occupational skills and competence essential for successful socialization.
The method was developed by the Center of Interactive Educational Technologies (IET) of Lomonosov Moscow State University and is extensively used for training the university students in situational business games.
Annual charity ballroom dancing parties are another element of the Midday training program.
Advancement of professional education
In 2014 the Company continued supporting telecommunications industry-specific higher education institutions where specialized chairs were established. These higher education institutions include: Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics (МТUCI), The Bonch-Bruevich Saint Petersburg State University of Telecommunications, Siberian State University of Telecommunications and Informatics (SibSUTI), Volga State University of Telecommunications and Informatics (VSUTI), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University). Support of industry-specific educational institutions includes improvement of their material and technical base, support of students' clubs, payment of scholarships, making arrangements for training of students in Rostelecom business units. The Company's specialized chairs in these institutions apply innovative approaches to education, use a research approach to education and engage students in academic research.
As part of cooperation with Far Eastern Federal University Rostelecom acted as a general partner of the "Ajax-2014" career marathon which enables final year students to find a job of their dream and select most preferred candidates for work in the telecommunications industry.
Rostelecom actively cooperates with the National Research University Higher School of Economics in education, science and design of technology solutions. The main goal of the cooperation is development of training programs for skilled professionals in telecommunications and information technologies.
Distance learning for children
In 2014 Rostelecom continued implementation of the program "Distance education for children with disabilities" which offers free Internet access to children who are unable to go to school due to various reasons and are taught at home. The children can master the school curricula on their own using special programs, and maintain online contact with their teachers, using Skype among other means. All teachers participating in the project have taken a special course to acquire skills of distance teaching.
Moreover, this year the Company has developed a system of online education for children living in orphanages and boarding schools. Extended education in all subjects was provided in selected institutions with application of Internet technologies. To ensure successful implementation Rostelecom provided Internet access where required and installed necessary equipment in computer classes free of charge.
Projects in the field of Internet Security
To protect children and adolescents from harmful Internet content, all Company tariff plans offer the service “Child at home”. The Company also implements a federal project that foresees content filtering services for secondary schools.
Apart from technical solutions of the Internet security, in 2013 the Company implemented a series of communication projects on safe Internet – parent meetings "Children in the Internet", "Internet security in schools", "Children's video clips contest", "Social poster contest", National Russian competition of pedagogical development "Safe Internet". These events targeted various audiences - children, teachers, parents and the public. The range of problems raised by these projects includes malware handling, spam counteraction and protection against fraud and harmful content.
Youth Competitions and Contests
As part of cooperation with youth associations and festivals Rostelecom supports active, talented and diligent young people in their drive to creative development and realization of personal potential. In 2014 the Company was a partner of a number of youth events: arts festival "Student spring – 2014" in the Chuvash Republic; school, student and youth leagues of the TV game "Club of the Merry and Smart" of the Republic of Udmurtia; Volga League of the "Club of the Merry and Smart plus" in Nizhny Novgorod, Sаmаra Regional League, Junior and Youth Leagues "Sаmаrа", specialized youth camp "Summer school of social modelling "Takeoff -2014” in Nizhny Novgorod Region; the Young Wave project in Rostov Region, launching new opportunities for implementing initiatives of the young, etc.
The Company assisted in holding an interregional championship in Internet information search in the North-Western Region and a similar event among students of Syktyvkar State University called "I am proud of my Republic".
Rostelecom regularly supports cyber sport events among young people which accelerate brainwork, develop logic and ability to work in a team. In April 2014 the Company was General Partner of the final DOTA 2 game in the Far-Eastern League which was held in Vladivostok, and in December of the same year it was a partner of the Open online competition of the network computer game "SIBERIA Dota 2 Cup" in Yakutsk.
Rostelecom also became a telecommunication partner of the North Caucasus Youth Forum "Mashuk-2014" – a social and education project aimed to support young people who are interested in politics, economics, science and innovations, art and creative work.
Application of modern technologies for education and children's creativity
Rostelecom carries out projects enabling children to gain knowledge using modern telecommunication technologies. In Primorye Territory a unified system for distance teaching has been launched for small schools located in remote communities. A platform based on terrestrial and satellite links and special data equipment was developed making it possible to teach distant classes in 130 schools. In the Southern and North Caucasus Federal Districts provision of Internet access at orphanages and boarding schools has been successfully completed. A modern computer classroom has been opened in a boarding school in the city of Mozdok which is under special care of Rostelecom. In most educational institutions Internet connection speed has been doubled owing to deployment of a required telecommunication infrastructure.
A project to implement a security system and provide a set of telecommunications services was implemented for a unique children's center "Sunny Land" in the rural community of Tashla in Orenburg Region.
Social initiatives in collaboration with the “Sochi - 2014" Organizing Committee
As a General Partner of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi Rostelecom arranged a number of public events aimed at promotion and popularization of Olympic values and a healthy lifestyle among the young. Winter and Summer Olympic kick-offs were launched before the Games – events in different sports for children and youth which took place throughout Russia – from Far East to Kaliningrad.
Over the whole duration of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi Rostelecom ensured TV broadcasts of the events to jumbotrons installed in central squares of big Russian cities. Sports fans throughout the country had a chance not only to cheer on our athletes, but also sense the unique atmosphere of the Olympic Games. The final stage of the cultural and information marathon assisted by Rostelecom lasted over a period of seven years in libraries of Кrasnodar Region. In the course of the project over 600 thousand young residents of Kuban got themselves familiar with the history of the Olympic Games, developed their own creative projects related to sports, tried their hand in literary Olympic relays and competitions.
For a number of years Rostelecom has been a partner of CSKA basketball club. The All-Russian program of master classes "Dream Team" is currently underway which enables children from regional basketball schools to show their abilities and acquired skills to the best coaches and top players of the club and talk to the stars of Russian basketball. The program covers all federal districts of the Russian Federation. In the season of 2013-14 successful participants of the master classes aged 14-16 from 8 Russian cities got a real chance to play in their dream team. Upon the results of the master classes two or three participants from each city were selected by coaches of the youth team for taking part in a two weeks' training session that was held in Moscow in May. The club made professional contracts with children who showed good results in the session.
Since 2009 Rostelecom has been the General Partner of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (RFSF). As of 2011 Rostelecom and RFSF have been carrying out a joint program called "Star Track" – a series of master classes for “rooky” figure skaters. During the master classes big sports stars Victor Kudryavtsev, Arthur Dmitriyev, Irina Lobacheva, Alexander Zhulin, Alexey Urmanov, Oksana Kazakova and many other leading athletes and coaches shared secrets of their professional skills. Young athletes from all federal districts of Russia took part in the program over a period of three years. The project offered children a unique opportunity to showcase their abilities and skills before famous coaches and get helpful advice from them.
In 2014 master classes were held in Vladivostok, Sochi, Perm, Veliky Novgorod, Cheboksary, Samara and Omsk. Children, who came out the best, were invited to Moscow together with their coaches and attended Rostelecom Cup events – the Russian stage of figure skating ISU Grand Prix Series and took part in a meeting which had been specially arranged for them with Olympic champions – Татyana Volosozhar, Yekaterina Bobrova, Dmitry Solovyov and Victor Kudryavtsev, a distinguished coach and consultant of the national team.
On Your Marks! with Rostelecom
Rostelecom regularly arranges winter and summer sport events for school children and young athletes. Winter events are arranged in all regions, where the Company operates, in such sports as ice-hockey, skating and sledding, and in summer competitions take place among young volleyball and basketball players, track and field athletes, etc. Mass sport events of different scale were arranged with the assistance of the Company. During the reporting period the following events took place: bike rides in Orel and Volgograd, the All-Russian festival of national and non-Olympic sports in Ulyanovsk, the Volga festival of a healthy lifestyle "Run After Me" in Mordovia and the city festival "Skipping Marathon. Jump into Summer" in Sochi.
Supporting National Arts
Starting from 2008 representatives of Rostelecom sit on the Supervisory Board of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. The Company assists the theatre in making new productions, arranging tours, engagement of stars and young talented actors and improvement of the management system, financial and commercial activities of the theatre. Thanks to Rostelecom thousands of spectators in Moscow are offered an opportunity to appreciate the talents of established and younger master-performers of the world famous Russian ballet school performing on the old stage of the Bolshoi Theatre that was opened again in 2011 after a prolonged renovation.
The Cultural Olympiad
Rostelecom was telecommunications partner of the VI International Winter Arts Festival in Sochi, the artistic director of which was Yuri Bashmet, a world renowned violist and conductor.
During the festival Rostelecom ensured provision of technical facilities for holding master classes for students of music schools and their teachers in five cities of Russia – Sochi, Ekaterinburg, Novokuibyshevsk (Samara Region), Novosibirsk and Rostov-on–Don. This was made possible through a multi-channel videoconference call which connected the Hall of chamber and organ music in Sochi with music sites in four cities of Russia equipped with specially designed modern videoconferencing systems.
As a result young musicians and their tutors got a unique chance not only to attend classes of great musicians – the singer Vladimir Vdovin, Yuri Bashmet, the Italian flute player Massimo Merchelli, the jazz trumpet player Brian Lynch and the piano player Olli Mustonen, but talk to them personally and ask them questions.
For two years running Rostelecom has been a telecommunications partner of the International Film festival "Meridians of the Pacific" which takes place in Vladivostok in September. Rostelecom also provided communications services to the XII theater and cinema festival "The Amur Fall" which was held in Blagoveshchensk from 6 tо 14 September 2014. The Company ensures free Wi-Fi Internet access at film festival venues and provides its network resources to organizers and press center of the events.
Theatre-lover’s Star Award
In December 2014 Rostelecom arranged a webcast of the VII Theatre-lover’s Star award ceremony. During 7 years of its existence the award has become an epitome of unbiased assessment, fair victory and public recognition, since the winners are chosen by the largest jury – a several thousand strong viewing audience. During a theatre season the public nominates and selects online on the Award Internet portal new productions they liked, and at the end of the year winners are announced at a festive ceremony following the vote outcome. This time some 10 thousand people watched a direct webcast of the VII Theatre-lover’s Star award-giving ceremony which Rostelecom arranged on several Internet sites simultaneously.
Let us give the children a world of knowledge!
In 2014 Rostelecom and the Publishing House "Arguments of the week" arranged a real feast of knowledge for children from orphanages and boarding schools in St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Pskov, Kaluga, Smolensk, Nizhny Novgоrod, Voronezh, Saratov, Orenburg and Belgorod and gave them the best children's educational books from Russia and other parts of the world. The event took place under the large-scale All-Russian project "Let us give the children a world of knowledge!" This is the fourth event of this kind, and its goal is to supply the children with high-quality and time-proven educational literature. As a result 6 thousand publications found their readers in 83 sponsored orphanages throughout the country.
The Bright Week Festival
For two years running Rostelecom has been supporting the International Children's Easter Vocal and Chorus festival "The Bright Week". In 2014 it was held in Moscow, 23 - 25 May. The aim of the festival is to develop spiritual values in children and youth, promote children's and youth’s chorus art, and popularize Russian choir, vocal and folk music. Besides, this music forum will give a chance to perform in Moscow's concert halls not only to professional musicians, but amateurs as well. About 5 thousand young musicians from over 100 different professional choruses, Sunday and religious music schools of Russia as well as foreign guests have taken part in the festival since its start in 2008.
Charity performances at the Bolshoi Theatre
On New Year's Eve the Company traditionally arranges charity performances at the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre for children from orphanages and boarding schools. Every year orphan children as well as children from large families in Moscow and Moscow Region have a chance to visit the main theatre of the country and get themselves familiar with great examples of the scenic art.
The vast majority of children who get invitations, go to the Bolshoi Theatre for the first time which itself is an unforgettable event for them. Since the subjects of the performances are related to New Year, it helps to sense the atmosphere of the coming holiday. For a number of years Rostelecom arranged charity performance of the ballet by Tchaikovsky "The Nutcracker" on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. In 2014 the Company presented to children from 12 social institutions of Moscow and Moscow Region the opera "Story of Kai and Gerda" staged after the fairy tale "Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen.
Christmas charity program
In 2014 the number of children's institutions covered by Rostelecom's charity program neared the figure of 140. For reference – in 2013 their number was 90. So, the number of children who got aid from the Company on the eve of the holiday has significantly increased and reached some seven thousand people.
The principal areas of aid allocation remain unchanged. All funds earmarked for charity are allocated to purchase basic essentials, clothes and footwear. Besides, aid is provided to orphanages in order to purchase furniture and all kinds of equipment - educational, sporting, medical, training, including articles used for equipping up-to-date computer classrooms with Internet access.
A separate part of Rostelecom's New Year's charity program is the volunteer project "You Can Become Santa Claus". It is traditionally held on New Year's Eve. In 2014 Company employees from 36 cities of Russia took part in the project. In each of those cities Rostelecom offices looked like sites for collection of gifts for orphanage children. For that purpose lists of boys and girls from sponsored children's institutions were posted on the Intranet portal together with information regarding presents that children would like to get from Santa Claus. Every Company employee could choose a child and a present to be given to that child.
"I want to live!" Project
For the second year running Rostelecom is taking an active part in the charity program "I want to live!' arranged by the Charity Fund "Arguments and Facts. Feeling Heart". The main goal is provision of targeted aid to children suffering from renal failure that already had or are about to have renal transplantation. A charity party is arranged under the program for children paternalized by the Charity Fund "Arguments and Facts. Feeling Heart". Pictures featuring children who had renal transplantation are on display at the party.
In addition to that, specialized master classes in different professions are arranged for orphanage children as well as excursions to various Moscow's museums. Books as a present
For a number of years Rostelecom together with the Fund "Illustrated Books for Small Blind Children" has been implementing the program "Books as a present". Thanks to this program over 10 thousand small and young children with poor eyesight have already got new sets of special books "Illustrations Perception Atlas" by charity subscription. All books have color pictures with distinct outlines enhanced by hot stamping which one can feel and encircle with a finger. The books get the children acquainted with the world around, awake in them interest in reading, facilitate development of speech habits, attention, thinking, augment sensory experience, bring positive emotions.
Melody of the Game
Due to partnership with the Charity Fund "Country of Talents", starting from 2014 Rostelecom has been arranging chess evenings called "The Melody of the Game" designed for disabled children from orphanages and boarding schools. The first competitions took place in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don. The project receives much support from regional and municipal authorities. All this allows to run the chess competitions on a high level confirmed by participation of experienced grandmasters. They play games of multiboard chess with children and share their experience in master classes.
The main goal of the project is to attract attention of the public and mass media to social adaptation of children with disabilities, to recognition of a significant role of chess in development of children's intellectual abilities and mental cаpacity.
Assistance to sponsored child care institutions
Rostelecom actively supports a variety of social institutions – hospitals and orphanages. The Company buys medical equipment and pays for emergency medical operations, allocates funds to repair buildings and purchase basic necessities, helps organize holidays for children from orphanages and meetings of relevant professional psychologists with children, provides channels for distance teaching of children. Assistance is rendered both on-demand and on an ongoing basis.
New opportunities for children with disabilities
Rostelecom helps in social integration of people with disabilities and, in particular, disabled children. Rostelecom, implements a program for distance teaching of children with disabilities both at the level of the Corporate Center and at the level of macro-regional branches, at home and in specialized institutions.
Thus, in 2014, in many regions of its presence Rostelecom participated in programs for distance teaching, in which the Company provides children with disabilities with unlimited access to the Internet, and ensures delivery and installation of necessary equipment.
Support for veterans
Every year on Victory Day Rostelecom offers to war veterans an opportunity to make free long-distance and international telephone calls and send telegrams in the territory of the Russian Federation, to CIS and Baltic states.
It has become a good tradition for Rostelecom to arrange videoconferences on Victory Day. For many years the Company has helped veterans from various cities to see their fellow soldiers, talk to them live and take part in anniversary celebrations.
For many years charity support has been provided to Samara regional clinical hospital for war veterans. Over a year in Karelia the Company held festive events for war veterans and those who took part in the Great Patriotic War as well as home front workers on the eve of professional holidays – Radio Day, which is communication workers' Day, and Victory Day. Employees of the Arkhangelsk branch rendered individual greetings to workers of the communications industry – veterans of the Great Patriotic War under the initiative "Thank You for Victory".