My First Event Was A Mess

Maria Shurupova shares her experince organizing «Food for dogs» project. 

My First Event Was A Mess

Maria Shurupova, a twenty-one year old HSE student, will talk about «Food for dogs» project that helps homeless pets with food and supplies.

«Food for dogs» is a charity project by HSE Green that takes place at the university since June 2017. Every semester volunteers from the organization collect food and other supplies for homeless pets. Collected items go to pet shelters that either chosen by the organization or those that asked for help themselves. «Food for dogs» is still developing and becoming even bigger. Boxes are placed almost in every campus. 

It was my first education year when I saw HSE Green’s presentation about their projects. I used to help a civil shelter by myself back then but often felt like all my attempts was meaningless because I was all alone in this. So I thought that «Food for dogs» is a good opportunity to find people who want to help as badly as I am. That’s how I ended up in the project.

My first event was a mess. No one in my campus wanted to participate and help us so I was really nervous. Others were doing better than me and it gave me comfort. I knew that I was not alone in this. I love how we create a network in HSE, which helps animals. I think the lack of information about the project is the biggest problem right now. Many students do not even know about us. I remember how people just ignored our boxes and did not bother to read posters. We needed to cover more information resources: mail lists, digests and others.

I believe we should go further and create long-term relationships with shelters so we can help them systematically. 

Why is eco-organization dealing with homeless animals? Well the easiest answer is because animals are part of our eco-system too but there is more. Animals cannot protect themselves and all their sufferings are caused by humans. Our law system doesn’t work well and most civil shelters are in a pretty bad condition so who is going to help them if it isn’t us? It is specifically important for the eco-organization because homeless pets is a theme that touches on almost everybody. It is easy to participate — you can bring a little patch with cat food and put it into a box so your friends and classmates will see how easy is to volunteer. It helps to bring people into other aspects of the eco-activism because often when they are interested in helping animals they slowly become interested in  everything else. This is what actually happened to me.

I think «Food for dogs» is a growing-up project. I believe it can changes the way that people think.

Text by
Elizaveta Evdokimova