It is necessary to help, but at the same time it is important to be very careful so that the help is for the good, and not for the harm

It is necessary to help, but at the same time it is important to be very careful so that the help is for the good, and not for the harm

Museums can perform socially significant functions, focus not only on the past, but also on the future. 

And our Foundation also supports people who strive for professional development, who create projects and are ready to bring them to life. Now, for example, we are holding a competition for the formation of centers of social innovation in culture, this will create an infrastructure that will help transfer experience and develop new leaders, will enable people to realize their initiatives. 

Thousands of people take part in the contests held by the V. Potanin Charitable Foundation. What would you like to draw their attention to?

That the competition is a tool for self-development, and not an opportunity to win and receive a certain amount of money. 

Sometimes participation is more important than winning because it is also a very important experience. If something didn’t work out today, it doesn’t mean it won’t work tomorrow. 

The competition is not an advance for the future, it is simply a fixation of where you are at the moment. Today you have achieved something – the victory in the competition has confirmed it, but tomorrow everything may already be completely different. 

And defeat is also not a reason to give up, you need to draw the right conclusions and go forward. 

Another important point: the competitive selection system requires clearly established and understandable rules that do not give anyone any advantages, and independent experts. The competition must be fair. 

In your opinion, what areas and programs are behind the future of charity?

I think that the individual support of people will always be in demand, how is beowulf an epic hero essay and work in this direction is an important part of the strategy of our Foundation. 

It is very important to support education and culture as these are the basic values ​​that shape the future. Education – from the point of view of human capital, and culture – from the point of view of the environment in which we live. 

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You were a teacher, engaged in science, research – and then changed the vector of activity. Why did this happen?

Working in charitable organizations was not a radical change in the field of activity. Everything happened gradually: my scientific work was connected with regional politics and federal relations, it was always interesting for me to study what and how is happening in the regions.

Then I moved on to projects that were also related to this topic: for two years we published a newsletter, which collected data on what is happening in the regions. We monitored the media, worked with a network of our own correspondents, and based on the results of research and analysis, every two weeks we released a digest with up-to-date information on the state of affairs in the regions. He made it possible to outline certain landmarks and understand what problems exist, and outline ways to solve them. 

During this period, my activity was also associated with education – but not with teaching, but with the support of higher education in the regions.

It is necessary to help, but it is important at the same time to be very careful so that the help is for the good, not the harm.

So, for you, charitable activities are related to education?

I think that not only for me. I think there is a very deep connection between charity in general and education.

Education is an area that, like charity, is focused on the fact that the person working in it is determined to give. 

This is not a formal transfer of knowledge – he gave a lecture, gave classes and left. The effect of the work of teachers is difficult to assess in terms of workdays or hours – after all, these people share not only their knowledge, but also experience, and thus, in a certain sense, show charity. 

By the way, back in the 90s, people came to this sector mainly from education, because, as I said, these are two very close areas. 

What is charity today? 

Today charity has become widespread – and this is very important. It involves not only organizations that have been and remain the largest donors, but also ordinary people – through the donation system, through volunteer activities. 

The second significant difference from what was 20 years ago is that charity has become professional. There are certain institutes, organizations that are engaged in this work, conduct research … 

Earlier, charity was targeted: they saw the problem and tried to solve it. Now this type of activity also remains, but basically we are talking about the systemic development of the segment. 

If mainly private individuals participate in targeted charity, how do organizations operate? 

Many foundations began by providing targeted support, raising funds to help specific children. Now they are doing it too, but at the same time they are trying to change the situation globally.

For example, the Gift of Life foundation invests in training doctors. And we are talking not only about helping a specific child, but also about the fact that there are specialists in the country who could provide this assistance. Then it will be available here and now, and there will be no need to take the child to another country, collect money for his treatment, etc.

Why is charity important to you personally?

The opportunity to change something for the better – and see the result of these changes. When, thanks to what you are doing, people were able to achieve something, received support, “a start in life” – this is very important. 

It is also valuable to understand that there is also our contribution to today’s success of these people, even if it is not so noticeable. 

But there is also a downside to the coin. When we work with people and try to help them, the main thing is not to harm. 


It is actually very easy to do harm, by giving more money than is necessary, for example, or by making a decision for a person, changing his life plans. Do harm by giving rise to a dependent relationship instead of giving an impetus to development …

It is necessary to help, but it is important at the same time to be very careful so that the help is for the good, not the harm. 

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Early Childhood Development Studio was your first personal experience working with groups of children. What did you rely on at the very beginning?

Yes, this was my first experience with groups of children. The modern concept of preschool education in Russia at that time was just emerging, taking shape, many pedagogical associations appeared. 

Then everyone who was interested had a tremendous opportunity to work with scientists, experts, creating this system, to participate in the process. Being within the expert community, I formed a clear idea of ​​how and what should be done in my children’s studio. 

Now the task of preschool education has become global – personality education

I could practically try and implement those innovations that were just incipient, discussed in scientific circles.

By this time, the preschool education program of Alexander Zaporozhets had already been released, which was later finalized by Margarita Vasilyeva and Nikolai Veraksa, and today everyone knows it as the “From birth to school” program. It was an important and interesting time. 

What was preschool education like during this period?

First of all, I want to say that the Soviet (and then Russian) model of preschool education was recognized as the best in the world, and foreign colleagues still believe that it was our teachers and psychologists – Vygotsky, Luria, Leontyev – who opened new horizons for the development of children. … And what was created in our country is still being replicated all over the world.

At the same time, of course, this educational model had its own characteristics: regimentedness, “over-organization”.

But we must not forget that for that time it was the ideal form of work, because the kindergarten was massive, there were many children and it was necessary to be engaged with everyone: music, mathematics, speech development, and physical education …

And yet this system did not suit you personally – you created your studio with a different concept.

Yes, I already said that for large groups this was the optimal form of work, many things were spelled out in the program correctly, but they were far from always being implemented. 

In addition, in Soviet times, the child was an object of education, the teacher acted in relation to him as a mentor, teacher. Then the concept changed: today the child has become the subject of upbringing, now the main task of preschool education has become more global – the upbringing of the individual. 

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Interview with Oksana Oracheva, General Director of the V. Potanin Charitable Foundation

Oksana Ivanovna, by education you are …

Historian. I majored in modern history, political history, political philosophy, and studied political science in my master’s degree.