Damir Fattakhov on rallies: “The problem is the lack of platforms for discussion of socio-political topics”
More than 1,5 billion rubles were allocated for the implementation of the youth policy in Tatarstan last year. With this money, new health camps were built, youth centres were created, major repairs were carried out in youth clubs, more than 30,000 events were held both offline and online, and participation in various federal projects and victory in them brought young activists more than 125 million rubles in the form of grants, said Minister of Youth Affairs of Tatarstan Damir Fattakhov at the final board meeting of the agency. Read more about the problems of young people, including in the context of recent protest rallies, in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“Digital hygiene” as a means of combating extremism in social networks
Today, all those aged from 14 to 35 are considered young people — this is almost a third of the total population of Tatarstan, the minister noted in his speech. Moreover, the life priorities of the youth of the 21st century are radically different from those who were born in the 1960-80s. This means that new approaches to working with Generation Z and millennials are needed, according to the republican ministry of youth affairs. The rapid development of the Internet, the abundance of various social networks with rather dubious content threaten young people with “digital slavery”, cyberbullying and other challenges. Therefore, the ministry sees its main task in making young people active participants in life, creating conditions for their self-realisation, said Damir Fattakhov.
In particular, the Digital Hygiene programme is designed to combat extremism coming from the Internet, which is aimed at the recruitment of teenagers in social networks by groups like AUE and other prohibited movements. “We are faced with completely new phenomena in the virtual world, which then become real problems, mental disorders and threats to the security of the individual," the minister outlined the scale of the problem.
If today's young people communicate more with the help of various memes, videos, audio and video podcasts, then it is on their content that the project relies. Fattakhov explained:
“An important task is to form critical thinking in relation to everything that is on the Internet, to develop, let's say, digital immunity. Many things are already online today and getting thousands of hits.
Free communication with teenagers, who are quite willing to engage in dialogue — “open and honest, when you can express your point of view, and the parties can hear each other," Fattakhov called another method of combating the influence of social networks.
“This was discussed by the young people who took to the streets on 23 January, during our meeting at the ministry and yesterday [January 31], when we talked on the street.
The reasons for that thousands of young people went “out” in cities across the country on 23 and 31 January Damir Fattakhov sees in “a shortage of platforms for open conversation on social and political themes, as well as the lack of young people willing to defend an alternative point of view”. According to the minister, “we must make the available platforms more accessible, transparent and open to any young person. So that they become a place of collision of positions, but not people”.
Ostaz in Zhilploschadka as an example of the teenage club
“For 2021, the ministry has identified the main priority for itself — these are teenagers," Damir Fattakhov announced the main goal of the youth policy for this year. To work with the younger generation in different directions, a special concept of MinMolteens has been developed, which describes in detail the principles of the ministry's work with teenage youth and the requirements for any project, specialist and infrastructure, the target audience of which is a teenager.
According to the head of the ministry of youth affairs, the work with children should begin in teen clubs. The latter should know what the teenager living in the neighborhood lives and is interested in — this should become the main reference point in the work of the institution. In the meantime, most of them have essentially preserved the “Soviet” heritage, being a platform where preschoolers or elementary school students are engaged. Therefore, the ministry intends to radically change the content of clubs. Today, there are 224 youth and teenage clubs in 28 municipalities of the republic, the principles of work and functional content have long been morally and physically outdated.
“Youth clubs, as institutions of youth policy, should work specifically with the teenage audience — from 14 to 18 years old. Now they make up only 36% of the total number in the municipalities," Fattakhov addressed the heads of municipalities.
As an illustrative example of the renovation of a teenage club, he cited a club opened in Kazan in the area of Zhilploschadka. Ostaz is a platform where there are sewing and leather, carpentry and pottery workshops that are in great demand.
Renovation will come to children's camps and youth centres
Also among the tasks for the current year, there is the renovation of country camps. Last year, as part of the special programme Summer For Children, 35 camps were completely renovated at the expense of the budget of 3 billion rubles. In Kazan — the year-round camp Molodyozhny, Bugulma created one of the largest camps in Russia specialised for the needs of children with disabilities.
As Fattakhov noted, the appearance of Artek in Nizhnekamsk, on the basis of the camp Kama, can be called a historical event. It has already received more than 650 participants in the framework of specialised shifts. By the way, last summer Tatarstan became one of the few regions of Russia where children's health camps were established, where almost 140,000 schoolchildren has the opportunity to spend their holidays. This year, modern conditions for recreation for children and teenagers will be created in 9 more camps of the republic, for which 1 billion funds will be allocated.
Besides, art residences, which will be seven, are going to appear in the republic. Last year, Tatarstan was selected as one of the regions that received the right to develop the Tavrida art residency network. The construction of extreme parks will continue: one is already operating in Kazan, and this year the creation of a platform for extreme entertainment in Nizhnekamsk will begin.
The renovation process has also reached the youth centres. There are 35 of them in the republic today, 6 of them were updated in 2020. “The task of the ministry is to make these objects really popular among young people," Damir Fattakhov said.
Also during the report, Fattakhov called on the youth departments of the municipalities to be more actively involved in the competition for ministerial grants totalling 50 million rubles. In addition to all of the above, the ministry plans to create a single youth helpline to provide qualified psychological assistance to young people, especially in remote areas where there are no psychologists even at schools.
“We know our flaws, there is room for improvement”
The head of the ministry, Damir Fattakhov, spoke for almost an hour about what is being done for young people in the republic, and what still needs to be strengthened. He particularly noted the role of volunteers during the coronavirus lockdown and later, who took care of the older generation of residents of the republic within the framework of the All-Russian movement MyVmeste (WeAreTogether). They processed more than 20,000 applications and provided more than 300,000 different types of targeted assistance.
But it wasn't just about achievements. Fattakhov blamed the lack of initiative in some districts — these are Alekseevsky, Verkhneuslonsky, Kaybitsky, Mendelevsky and five more: “For a number of resource projects, we note zero activity on the part of municipalities.
No applications in the grant competition among non-profit organisations were received from 16 districts. But it was an affordable opportunity to compete for the prize fund of 18 million rubles.
The list of the most active participants of the competitions of the ministry of youth affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan and various NGOs includes Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Baltasinsky and Spassky districts. They submitted about 110 applications. In total, the participation of Tatarstan youth in similar federal competitions last year attracted more than 125 million rubles to Tatarstan for the implementation of projects for young people.
In conclusion, Damir Fattakhov presented a kind of rating of effectiveness in the implementation of youth policy, which the ministry annually makes, evaluating the work of 42 municipalities of Tatarstan. The first three lines are taken by Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk, while the outsiders are Kaibitsky, Kamsko-Ustinsky and Atninsky districts.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Aleksey Pesoshin gave his assessment of the activities of the ministry of youth affairs at the board meeting. He noted that the effective work of the ministry of youth affairs is confirmed by that, in spite of the difficulties, in 2020 the republic was the first in Russia by the results of the implementation of the state youth policy, but at the same time, he added: “We know our flaws, there is room for improvement, we understand that we are being only at the beginning, and we still have to walk the high road.”