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Interview with Vladimir Gutenev

For the Russian Engineering Union, donorship became an important idea uniting people - employees of hundreds of enterprises. The wealth of experience of the donation development in the Union is an example of how to build a socially responsible work in a company at a high level and with the maximum result. This was told us by the vice-president of the Russian Engineering Union, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Economic Policy Vladimir Gutenev.

In an interview in 2014, you provided the following numbers: the Union concluded 25 agreements between regional offices and local blood transfusion stations, 80,000 employees of three hundred enterprises of the engineering industry donated about 30,000 liters of blood. Four years have passed. How did the practice of donating develop during this period?

Russian Engineering Union - is one of the largest organizations, uniting holdings and corporations. There are 618 companies from 59 regions – from Kaliningrad to Chabarovsk in a Donor Program at the present moment. 35 agreements have been signed between regional branches and local blood transfusion stations. In 2012 we signed a cooperation agreement with The Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA) for voluntary donation of blood in the state program "Blood Service". During this period, we organized about 3200 events, in which about 240 thousand people took part. Thanks to Russian engineers, the donor blood bank has significantly increased - in figures it is about 100 thousand liters of blood, more than one hundred lives saved. More than 1.5 million people need blood transfusions every year in our country, so we set a goal to increase the donor program so that it covers all new regions and new participants.

We take a meaningful part in projects with hospitals. For example, with the 52nd City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, we have been cooperating for the last three years, attracting 2,5-3 thousand donors per year. And there are many such examples.

Why do owners and production managers pay so much attention to the donor program?

If we remember, when it all began six years ago, the President of the Union, Sergei Viktorovich Chemezov, has launched an initiative to participate in the development of the Donor program at the formal meeting of the Union. Committee has unanimously approved this proposal, and it was decided that engineering workers in our country would participate in such an important and necessary program. FMBA, in turn, was interested in finding such a partner as the Russian Engineering Union, with massive scale of participants and activities, which covers almost whole country. We, on our part, proceeded from the fact that donorship combines both state, social, humanistic aspects, as well as personal characteristics - humanism, self-sacrifice, helpfulness. It fully corresponds to our Union philosophy. By participating in the donor program, we help to solve social problem and at the same time give people opportunity to make a contribution.

How is cooperation between Russian Engineering Union and Blood Service organized? Who supervises this?

There are employees of the Union responsible for the project in each regional branch. Thanks to Moscow regional branch, for example, donorship marathons were organized and stream of volunteers helped to create a base and diminish shortage of blood and its components.

Please tell us more about companies, where cooperation with Blood service can set the pattern.

Most active participants are corporations belonging to Rostec, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), United Shipbuilding Corporation, Roscosmos, “Almaz-Antey”, Tactical Missiles Corporation, Atomenergomash and other industrial companies. For example, (UAC) with the Union since 2016 twice a year provides events for donors on manufacturers all over the country. Other example, employees from Irkutsk Aviation Plant donate blood monthly, for the 6 years it’s more than 18,000 donors.

How do workers perceive information concerning blood donation and help to seriously ill patients?

Donorship events on enterprises are held twice a year and always find a response from workers – union memberships. We are glad to admit that employees participate in this program and take it personally, helping others. It should be mentioned, that many donors are young, healthy, strong men. Russian Engineering Union organize many meaningful activities focused on technical education development, mentoring and support for creative young adults – all of them are needed and important. Thanks to the program we see, people need also something to share, as blood, time, efforts.  Not accidental, that volunteering gains momentum in our country and blood donation is its purest, noble direction.

How do you think, what kind of social activity may attract people to donorship?

Moscow Union branch provides lecture course focused on donorship to let people understand how important their impact in development of charity donations on an ongoing basis. Lectures are held not only among employees of industrial enterprises, but also in universities, colleges and schools. I assume famous people, top managers from large corporations, media persons can give a good example here. Perhaps it is worth publish posters, brochures with illustrations, to whom donor blood has helped. This may be a child with a diagnosis of "leukemia", and a patient having chemo. Transfusion is performed during cardiovascular surgeries, transplant operations, in case of serious injuries. We all need blood donations, whole society - each of us can be in a situation where blood transfusion is a vital necessity.

And our traditional question: what would you say to donors and those who are just going to participate?

We can only welcome this intension. We set Union management a goal to promote donorship in regions to increase the number of donors among our employees. Millions of people owe their lives to donors - people they do not know and have never seen. By donating blood, you help others and help make our country, society healthier. I know for myself that this is a special feeling - sharing your blood with those who need it and who will not survive without. I wish everyone to have such feelings!

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