At Step Up, we place a high value on the work we do with volunteers — young Russian professionals and students.
Inna, who works as a manager in Moscow, is one of Step Up's brightest volunteers. She used her annual leave to attend Step Up's Summer Camp at the Belskoye Ustye orphanage in 2014 — her first experience of volunteering and working with physically and mentally disabled children — and she has since taken part in all Step Up projects at Belskoye Ustye.
In her free time Inna is interested in yoga and, last year, she enrolled in an intensive children's yoga training course in Moscow where she learnt the basics of the discipline.
Staff dismissals at the Belskoye Ustye orphanage means that the institution does not now have a single physical education teacher. During Winter Camp 2016, Inna ran a series of yoga masterclasses for the children at Belskoye Ustye, which were very popular among volunteers and children.
Here is a something Inna herself wrote about the experience:
"The classes were even more effective than I expected. Many became seriously interested in yoga, and kept asking when the next class would be. One older girl, who has cerebral palsy, said that, at first, she thought she wouldn't be able to do anything but she quickly realized there were a lot of positions that she could hold even in her condition. After the successful classes during Winter Camp I have continued running classes in Moscow, this time with autistic children."
Inna is currently in discussions with Step Up's Summer Camp coordinator about the possibility of holding a whole series of yoga classes during this year's Summer Camp for children, volunteers, and staff at the orphanage.