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Swallows / ICYE Russia was established in 1997 by the younger members of the United Nations support group in Samara. Their mission was to promote the idea of international volunteering in Russia. The organisation currently offers young people aged 18 – 30 the opportunity to participate in a number of social, cultural and educational projects.

Their ethos and goals include:

  • Uniting young people from various cultural, political and national backgrounds.
  • Improving youth policy and the status of youth in general.
  • Supporting action on integration and youth involvement into social development.

The Russian Federation, which covers one-eighth of the Earth’s surface, spans Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, and ranks as the world’s largest nation in terms of its territory. This country stretches 2,500-4,000 km from north to south and another 9,000 km from west to east.

Russia has the world’s fifth largest population (148.8 million people) with approximately 130 ethnic groups. The climate in Russia is mostly continental, with average January temperatures ranging from 0°c to -5°c in Western European Russia and to -40-50 °c in east Yakutia (Sakha Republic).

Religion plays a prominent role in the public and spiritual life of today’s Russia. The majority of believers belong to the Orthodox Christian denomination. Russia adopted Christianity under Prince Vladimir of Kiev in 988, in a ceremony patterned on Byzantine rites.

Russian cuisine is famous for exotic soups as ukha (fish soup) or shchi (cabbage soup which is made of assorted meats). Russians are great lovers of pelmeni, small Siberian meat pies boiled in broth, bliny (pancakes) with sour cream or caviar, cabbage pie, beef a la Strogonoff. In Russia, a festive table isn’t worth its name without a bottle of vodka and Russians are traditionally hearty drinkers.

Projects available

In Russia you can volunteer in the areas of Disability Support, Education & Training and Youth Work.

Read our volunteer case studies to find out more.