From Alexander Kurochkin – Former Student Volunteer and current supporter of S.L.A.T.ECharity.

Alexander Kurochkin

Becoming a better person with enriched outlook 
while working with S.L.A.T.ECharity

	My name is Alexander Kurochkin; I’ve been one of S.L.A.T.ECharity volunteers in the Russian city of Perm for almost four years. When Dean Tatyana Germanovna Loginova, Head of Foreign Languages Department at Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University, assigned me, firstly to Brian Grassie and then to Michael Kerins as a personal interpreter in October 2015, I could not have imagined that my life would change in so many unexpected and powerful ways.
	Maintaining a routine lifestyle that consists of doing the same tasks every day is extremely easy, be it going from home to the university five days a week or spending time with family and friends. We tend not to notice hidden sides of our daily life, i.e. constantly observing the poor, disabled and those less fortunate than us. This constitutes a certain problem lying in our inability to express compassion in meaningful and useful ways. S.L.A.T.ECharity is one of a few organizations that help us to shed light at the problems of these people.
	After Michael Kerins brought me to Perm based children’s orphanage “Loves Bridge” in Pushkin street, just one block away from the university I had been a student of for almost three years, I could not stop thinking of all the selfishness and inattentiveness this world has been gradually cumulating for many centuries. I understood that I was a part of the problem. Later on, Michael introduced me to the administration, staff and pupils of School 139 for visually-impaired children, situated on the very outskirts of Perm. This meeting made a further impact on my bewildered soul as I realised that even the most talented person in the world (and School 139 has and will produce many of the greatest painters of our age, I believe) might be unnoticed and unappreciated because of the stupid preconceived notion that having “impaired” in the name of your school predetermines the way people look at you and evaluate your abilities. This helped me to understand the pointlessness of assumption. 
	In less than eighteen months, I became involved with the project for School 139 focused on development of Russia-Scotland relations through art, namely through the paintings by the school pupils that would perfectly complement the poems by late Scottish poetess Emma Scullion, who had been battling cancer since she was a little girl. This project proved to be a complete success as the paintings were exhibited in the Scottish Storytelling Centre in November 2017 as well as transformed into S.L.A.T.ECharity calendars for 2018. The feeling of being directly involved with something so massive on the scale of charity, seeing mutual collaboration between Scotland and Russia and then observing the results was something out of the ordinary for me, for my family and my colleagues in the faculty. 
	In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that if it wasn’t for Dean Tatyana Germanovna Loginova’s appointment with Michael in October 2015 and becoming a S.L.A.T.ECharity volunteer, my life would definitely be less meaningful.  I would not have uncovered myself as a professional, a thinker and first of all a decent human being. I will always appreciate this priceless experience.   
Alexander Kurochkin, 
Recipient Red Diploma
Graduate Perm State Humanitarian University 
Perm City