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Interview with Oksana Kozhemyako

Regional institutions of the Blood Service are not afraid to experiment — they create volunteer structures, entrust young employees with responsible work to attract new partners and donors. One such example is the Youth Council, which was formed at the Khabarovsk Regional Blood Transfusion Station. The head physician of the station Oksana Valerievna Kozhemyako told us about several successful projects of the Council, which became laureates of the All-Russian competition of professional skills of the Blood Service.

Two projects at once were included in the list of the best at the All-Russian competition of the Blood Service. Tell us about the first - "Far Eastern character". Where did the name come from and what is the essence of the project?

It is dedicated to our distinguished donors - residents of the Khabarovsk Territory. The Far Eastern character is manifested in every inhabitant of our region by such qualities as fortitude, hard work, responsiveness, special mental and physical strength, hardening. These qualities make it possible to withstand the harsh climatic conditions and remoteness from the center of Russia, thanks to them the donor movement is actively developing in the region. The essence of the project is the formation of youth, including the students of the city of Khabarovsk, a commitment to a regular free donation of blood and its components. We are attracting young people, who are becoming recruited blood donors.

New principles of donation motivation, indicated in the presentation of the project, what are they?

They are constant communication with donors and promotion of blood donation in our social networks, using popular formats. We hold contests for photographs, essays, poems and posters, quizzes, online exhibitions of drawings with prizes, we present souvenirs with the symbols of the Blood Service, tell about the winners on Instagram. For students in grades 7-11, we organize open lessons on the topic of donation and excursions to the Blood Transfusion Station. We tell children about the secrets of our work, for example, how blood types are determined, and we show videos about donation.

The more donor campaigning, the more volunteers and active helpers are required. How did you search for people to attract in the project?

The project participants are healthy donors over 18 years old who donate blood and its components. We help organize volunteer blood donation groups at enterprises and educational institutions of the Khabarovsk Territory. We have a Youth Council of the Blood Service, working with volunteers, conducting all-Russian and regional donor campaigns.

Some non-profit organizations also showed a "Far Eastern character". Tell us about your partners.

Our wonderful friends are the Khabarovsk regional branch of the Russian Red Cross, the Volunteers-Medics non-profit organization, the Physical Culture, Sports and Health Department of the Khabarovsk Administration, the Russian Engineering Union, the Legislative Duma of the Khabarovsk Territory and many other partners. Together, we carry out donor actions in inpatient conditions and on the road, using our mobile blood collection complex.

How would you rate the project?

A Youth Council of the regional blood transfusion station has been created and is successfully operating. There are 24 volunteer groups to promote gratuitous and responsible blood donation at 10 enterprises and in 14 higher and secondary educational institutions of the Khabarovsk Territory. The Youth Council forms mobile teams of blood procurement for youth teams of universities and enterprises, and at the same time contacts with volunteer groups regularly. Every year at least 20 visiting donor days are held. In 2019, within the framework of the project, we carried out 19,010 donations from donors aged 18-30 and thus prepared 62% of the total volume of collected donor blood and its components. For the 9 months of 2020 (when departures to offices were allowed), we made another 12,700 donations.

Another outstanding event in the field of blood donation was the youth project "A Good Example Worth Respect". How did it begin?

The station's Youth Council has played a leading role. It includes 26 employees under the age of 35, medical personnel and administrative staff. All creative and organizational work to promote blood donation is on their shoulders. They create decent examples of cooperating with teams, organizing Donor Days. They also popularize donation on the Internet, develop an Instagram account. One of the results - 1st place in the All-Russian competition "Russian organization of high social efficiency" in the nomination "For the formation of a healthy lifestyle."

Which events organized by the Youth Council are remembered? What kind of response do you get from the youth audience?

There are a huge number of events, they are all memorable. Some are dedicated to holidays, various challenges and flash mobs. The campaigns "Donor Majority", "Week of Kindness", a donor marathon to the "75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War", the International Day of a Nurse in the format of "Fun run" can be distinguished.

How do you develop cooperation with young donor volunteers outside the project?

We participate in the events of our colleagues from the Medical Volunteers organization. Recently our team took 1st place in the First donor quiz - a team game. We also took part in the social youth action "Wind of Change", where activists of volunteer groups and teenage youth clubs took part.

And our traditional question: what would you wish to donors and people, who are going to join the donor program?

Human life is more fragile than crystal ... Sometimes it runs the risk of breaking off, like the stem of a flower ... That's why it is good that there are people like Donors, fearlessly performing small feats, invisible, about which little is said, but without the continuation of life is impossible. We wish all donors health and only positive emotions.

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