Our charitable activities reflect the specifics of MegaFon’s business and promote the strengthening of social ties and elimination of gaps between separate social groups. Over the 20 years of MegaFon’s corporate history, charity has become an integral part of the Company’s life and a priority for social responsibility.
The Company’s charitable activities pursue two objectives: to provide consistent and effective support in solving pressing social problems in Russia based on our professional knowledge and experience, and to promote “smart charity” by helping Russian foundations and NGOs effectively engage with the business community.
MegaFon’s charitable initiatives are structured along three main lines:
In 2015, we continued our efforts to arrange the Company’s charitable activities in a consistent manner. We strive to increase the transparency of our initiatives, paying special attention to the quality and effectiveness of projects, as well as their compliance with our objective of consistency. Set up in 2013, the Company’s Charity Committee reviews and approves projects, monitors their implementation and assesses the social effect. We also promote the creation of an effective donor community in Russia by raising the competence of NGOs and teaching them to interact efficiently with the business community.
Thus, in February 2015, MegaFon organised the first Dobro (Kindness) conference to share best practices and methods for fundraising, management of NGOs, and interaction with the business community. The conference brought together representatives of 105 foundations and NGOs from 34 Russian regions who were given a chance to present their projects to the Russian business community. Mail.ru Group and Metalloinvest acted as partners for the conference. The conference received extensive positive feedback from participants and is expected to become an annual event.
In 2015, MegaFon worked together with 166 foundations and NGOs to support 58 projects with a total budget of approx. RUB 180 m. These projects helped 21,000 people in 120 cities across Russia.
In April 2015, we signed a cooperation agreement with Planeta.ru, one of the first and most popular crowdfunding platforms in Russia. Under the MegaFon Helps programme, if charitable foundations can raise 25% of the amount required for the implementation of a social project on Planeta.ru, MegaFon will then contribute the remaining 75%. As at the end of 2015, 18 projects had been presented on the platform, of which 11 were successfully implemented; a total of RUB 13.2 m was raised, including donations of RUB 3.3 m. Every tenth out of more than 15,000 visitors to the web pages dedicated to projects within the MegaFon Helps programme made a donation, the average donation being RUB 2,250.
MegaFon’s charity programmes for orphans and children deprived of parental care are targeted at children and youths aged between 10 and 21 and provide a comprehensive programme of support: establishing social contacts through sports, culture, and social integration; and raising the level of education and providing vocational guidance and support to foster home graduates.
In 2015, we supported 18 projects helping 9,300 children, with a total budget of about RUB 64 m.
One of the most efficient and high-profile projects in this area is an open Russian football championship among children from orphanages and foster homes, operating under the moniker “The Future Depends on You”. In addition, MegaFon has implemented a number of similar projects:
Ten years ago we launched our first independent project – the open Russian football championship among children from orphanages and foster homes called “The Future Depends on You”, which has now become our benchmark in charitable activities. It is the only federal project of such scale aimed at integration and social adaptation of orphaned children: in 2015, 700 teams and 5,000 children from 120 population centres in Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Latvia took part in the competition. Since 2005, the project has involved a total of 1,300 teams and over 25,000 children.
For many residents of orphanages and foster homes, the football championship “The Future Depends on You” became their chance to make contact with their peers, make new friends, and even find a purpose in life. More and more people learn about this project every year: in 2015, a photo of the championship participants made it to the short list of the Objective Charity competition organised by the Donors Forum and was on display in Moscow’s Hermitage Garden.
As part of the project, MegaFon not only helps children strengthen their character and make contact with their peers through sports, but also assists them in finding a family. For this purpose, we have linked-up with the Change One Life foundation over the past two years to create over 1,000 video profiles of the championship participants from 77 institutions in 34 Russian regions in the age group from 10 to 18 years old, for whom it is particularly difficult to find a foster family. By the end of 2015, over 200 boys and girls have already found a home and a family.
In 2015, a documentary was filmed about the successful football player Aleksey Skvortsov, a participant in “The Future Depends on You” championship, and many residents and graduates of orphanages across the country got to see it.
total budget of supporting projects, helping 9,300 children
According to the Federal State Statistics Service, as at 1 January 2015, about 13 m people with disabilities lived in Russia (88 people per 1,000 Russian residents), including 605,000 disabled children. Every day they have to overcome dozens of barriers, both in the external environment and in their own world.
As a communications operator, MegaFon is committed to eliminating barriers to communication and integration in society. We believe that people with disabilities are equal members of the society, and all they need is equal opportunities for life and self-fulfilment in the community, in work, studies, and hobbies. Our objective is to help provide such opportunities.
In 2015, MegaFon approved 34 projects for more than 10,900 people with disabilities with a total cost of approx. RUB 67 m.
For over five years MegaFon has been supporting Russian paralympic sports. Since 2011, we have been general partner for the Russian national ice-sledge hockey team. International wheelchair tennis tournaments (MegaFon Dream Cup, Zelenograd Open – Pervaya Raketka and Moscow Cup Open), held each year jointly with the Tennis Foundation of St Petersburg and the ODA Charity Foundation, give wheelchair athletes the opportunity to score points in an international ranking and succeed at international sports forums.
We have been supporting the Russian Bocce Federation and bocce clubs across the country for the last three years – such projects help discover new talent and train them for high-ranking competitions. In 2015, almost 1,500 people from over 30 Russian cities took part in ten international and all-Russia tournaments; we have also helped organise six sport and health camps and conduct seven workshops for 380 people.
In addition to supporting paralympic sports, we are engaged in programmes for wheelchair athletes and for rehabilitation of children and adults with disabilities across Russia. We help conduct regular events and competitions in a wide range of sports – from horse riding and track and field to swimming and skiing.
In 2015, MegaFon’s flagship projects for socialisation and adaptation of people with disabilities included:
projects for more than 10,900 people with disabilites were approved
Programmes for people with disabilities aimed at eliminating barriers to their integration in society have been another important priority for MegaFon for many years. We have developed special tariffs for subscribers with hearing impairments and launched a dedicated website for people with impaired vision. In 2015, we launched two new projects in the Ural region with the objective of setting up a dispatcher service employing professional translators for more than 3,000 people with hearing disabilities, and to increase social and professional engagement of more than 3,000 people with sight disabilities.
MegaFon’s activities in this area also include supporting a number of projects to create a favourable environment in facilities offering long-term treatment for severely ill children and to attract funding to cover the treatment. MegaFon’s joint project with the Independent Non-Profit Organisation Hospital Clowns and the Happiness Lessons project in the Far East have helped speed up rehabilitation of children by means of hospital clowning, play therapy, fairy tale therapy, creative classes and outdoor trips. The We Can Do It Together project enables treatment to be arranged for severely ill children in the Sverdlovsk region through charity telethons, while the MegaFon Gives Hope project helps raise money for emergency procedures, medication and other forms of medical care for children with oncology conditions. In addition, MegaFon provides short codes for fundraising in support of severely ill children across Russia.
For over seven years, MegaFon has been helping the Polytechnic Museum in the renovation and restoration of its historical building, the development of architectural projects, and updating existing and arranging new exhibitions, as well as supporting educational programmes and youth projects. In 2015, MegaFon supported the following Museum projects: Open Storage, Science Film Festival 360°, Polytech.Science.Art, the 200 Keystrokes per Minute exhibition, the Polytech Festival, and the edition of the annual Calendar of Significant Dates.
Another MegaFon’s cultural initiative has been facilitating the production of several new performances for the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre.
Our charitable activities are an integral part of our corporate culture and the life of our people. Our volunteers do a lot of good work, making blood donations, helping orphanages, conducting lessons in mobile literacy, and providing higher educational institutions with technical equipment. MegaFon is proud of its volunteers and gives them full-fledged organisational support.
As a leading Russian mobile operator, MegaFon is aware of its responsibilities in case of national emergencies or force-majeure circumstances. We are always among the first to come to aid of people who suffered in such situations both in and outside of Russia.
In 2015, MegaFon provided help in two major emergencies. In April 2015, major grass fires hit Khakassia, leaving 5,000 people homeless, 15 dead, and 1,300 houses damaged. MegaFon provided targeted aid of RUB 10 m to those affected by these fires.
31 October 2015 brought the worst disaster in the history of Russia’s civil aviation when an airliner crashed in the middle of the Sinai peninsula killing 224 people. MegaFon cancelled all charges for calls to contact phone numbers for relatives of the crash victims.
In addition to our charitable activities, our corporate social responsibilities also include organising large-scale cultural events. In 2015, one of such events – the MEGAFONLIVE Festival – received unprecedented public approval. This unique nationwide interactive music festival ran from 15 August to 26 September in ten Russian cities and involved famous Russian rock musicians from across the country. It offered the absolutely unique experience for Russia of having two performances at the same time in two cities linked up live using high-speed MegaFon Internet.
The idea of the festival was to unite people with similar interests from different corners of the country. MegaFon truly brought hundreds of thousands of people closer together in Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk, Chelyabinsk, Samara, and Kazan. Just as MegaFon unites people across Russia, the MEGAFONLIVE concerts united people from different cities. MegaFon also made sure that access to the music and fun wasunhindered and organised a special zone for more than 100 guests with disabilities.