Interview with Tamara Mamontova
Please tell us about the “Vagon blagodarnosti” project.
The “Vagon blagodarnosti” is a unique museum car dedicated to donation, operated in the Novosibirsk subway in 2018 - the year of the 80th anniversary of the regional blood service. The aim of the project is to express great appreciation and special recognition to the merits of donors - residents of the region, which are more than 40 thousand people. It is no coincidence that the wagon set off at first time on the eve of National Donor Day, which is celebrated in Russia on 20th of April. The exposition placed in the car reflected the main stages of the Blood Service history of the Novosibirsk Region, from the 1930s to the present day. Rare archival photos, amazing facts and figures were presented here, significant dates were noted, heroic names and surnames were mentioned. The exhibition showed the very first technologies for blood sampling and transfusion of the last century, the high-tech laboratories of the Blood Center today, many donor dynasties and honorary donors from the Novosibirsk region, contribution of Novosibirsk students to the smooth operation of hospitals. The drawings and letters from the kids with thanks to the donors who gave them life and health were particularly touching part of the exposition. We tried to tell our modest “thanks” to the donors on behalf of the whole city with the help of “Vagon blagodarnosti”.
How did the idea to post blood donation information in the subway appear? Why was it in a subway?
First, we always seek to come up with something new for donors: we create interesting calendars and brochures, decorate the space inside and outside the Center. Secondly, it was important for us to launch a campaign with a citywide and even regional scale. The Novosibirsk subway is the third in Russia, carried over 80 million passengers a year. It is a popular public transport in Novosibirsk, thousands of people daily could see interesting informational and photo materials about donation. This communication channel provided maximum information. Thirdly, there is a lot of social advertising on the streets, but people are watching the road while driving. Nothing distracts a person in the subway. On the contrary, people have time for a pleasant and useful activity – take a look on the exposition of donation. We wanted the exhibition not only to be noticed, but also to be embraced with it, to feel the importance of the topic.
How did you implement the project? What difficulties did you face and how did you solve them?
We had some difficulties only with printing archived photos for carriage design, since the quality of these images is much lower than needed. But this issue was easily resolved by scaling. We were pleased with the management of the Novosibirsk subway support: we worked as a united team, inspired by one idea and mission. The donors themselves joined in the design of the exhibition with pleasure: they provided photos, shared their stories. There are entire donor dynasties in our region, where the total donor experience exceeds 50 and even 60 years. During the work on the project, we got to know one such family closer.
How did passengers react to the “Vagon blagodarnosti”? Was there any feedback from them?
For the entire period of the anniversary exhibition in the subway car, it was visited by about 900,000 people. Novosibirsk really liked the idea: the Blood Center regularly received words of thanks through social networks. The exhibition inspired many to become donors for the first time - they reported this at the registry at the Blood Center. Some people recognized their friends, colleagues or neighbors, on the photos in the carriage, word of mouth worked.
How did donors react?
They are modest people, not much talking about themselves and considering donation to be any special heroism. Most of them knew about the campaign, as they read about it on the news. The Novosibirsk Clinical Blood Center is within walking distance from the last subway station, so many successfully got into the "right" car. Those who could not see the exhibition looked for it on purpose. Active donors regularly recalled the museum car and sent their “thanks” in social networks.
What results did you plan to achieve? Was it successful?
Our aim was to show our citizens and guests of the city the indispensability of blood donation these days and scale of the Blood Service achieved over the history of its development. After all, it’s hard to imagine that some eight decades ago, the Blood Service did not exist neither in the Novosibirsk Region, nor in the whole country. The equipment of the blood transfusion station in 1938 was simple, at a time when it was just opened in Novosibirsk. But today, there are huge and powerful laboratory complex in the Novosibirsk Clinical Blood Center, its level of technical equipment is comparable to the level of leading scientific and medical laboratories in the world. At present, the work of maternity hospitals, surgical hospitals, and cancer centers is simply unimaginable without the accompaniment of a blood service. And, of course, without its heroes - donors. The project allowed to express gratitude to all medical workers participated in the field of donation, to promote the most valuable human qualities - kindness, nobility and selflessness.
And our traditional question: what would you wish to donors and people, who are going to join donor program?
I wish them health, good health and lots of health!
Most people know very little about donation and therefore trust the most unreasonable myths...