You are the man behind the established Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation in Cyprus. What is the philosophy of the Foundation and in what ways have you contributed to the local community and society?
Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation was founded in 2014 with a mission to give back to the local community in Cyprus, emphasising on those who need help the most, especially children. Our core philosophy is love and compassion without any form of prejudice or discrimination. Every year we aim to engage in projects that boost all areas of the Cypriot community including education, healthcare, the environment, sports, arts & culture and inspire others be the change they want to see in the world.
So far we have contributed to a number of causes, such as the Independent Social Support Body (ISSB), chaired by the First Lady of Cyprus Mrs. Andri Anastasiades, and the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society. We have also supported and organised various cultural events.
What inspired the foundation to support the Cyprus Red Cross Society and the social initiatives of the Limassol Municipality this year?
This is the second time we joined forces with the organisations as part of our Christmas campaign. As part of the Red Cross campaign, we provided 1000 families in need with vouchers and in association with the Limassol municipality, we donated to “Koinoniko Pantopolio” a plethora of supplies, including diapers, milk formula and baby food, in aid to all the families supported by the programme. In addition, we recently delivered a variety of board games, acrylic paints, brushes, scissors, drawing pens, colour markers and crayons to the teenagers of the “Free Hands” programme, a social initiative that looks after children from underprivileged backgrounds after school. We are deeply proud and excited to be able to add to the magic of Christmas and offer an extra reason for parents and children across Cyprus to smile.
What are your plans for 2018? And what are your long-term goals for the foundation?
Our plans are to continue working with the same passion like we have always done and continue trying to make a difference in the lives of other people. It is hard to talk about specific plans, as social priorities change depending on the needs of the people we aim to help. For example, the refugee crisis inspired us to create a day of adventure for the unaccompanied minors who currently reside at the ‘Hope for Children’ centre in Nicosia. Our long-term goal is to stay true to its philosophy “extend a helping hand to anyone in need”.
Is there a specific cause you feel specifically close to? In your opinion, what are the most important local social issues that need to be addressed?
I can’t say there is one specific cause as each case is different and special in its own way but I would say that children hold a special place in my heart. When an article about a blind toddler in a local newspaper caught my eye back in 2014, the mere realisation that the lack of funds may have left an innocent child blind for life was heart-breaking. Deciding to personally help the family was the inspiration and motivation for my wife and I to form the Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation.
You and your wife have been running a charity fund in your hometown in Russia for more than a decade now. What inspired you to get involved in charitable work back then?
We were driven by our wish to address the needs of children suffering from social and health problems in our Kazan. The Alpari Charitable Fund was established in 2005 and has so far paid for the treatment of more than 400 children, provided humanitarian support to more than 4,000 families and has organised more than 300 holiday excursions and fun events. More than 50 million rubbles, in total, have been spent on children welfare.
How active are you in the foundation? Do you dedicate personal time to its activities?
Philanthropy has always had a significant role in my life and I am dedicating as much time as I can to ensure our work with the foundation is meaningful and effective. My team and I carefully examine and review all the proposals we receive and ensure that our involvement is always effective.
You are also a very successful businessman. What should the role of corporate social responsibility be in today’s business environment? Do you think its impact will be even more increased in the next years?
I urge businesses to integrate corporate social responsibility in their core philosophy and in their everyday operations. This should not only be about giving to charity every once in a while, but also about operating in a way that is respectful to the environment, providing a healthy and inspiring setting for your employees and respecting your customers and partners. For example, FTXM’s social initiatives involve helping orphanages in Nigeria but and also encouraging colleagues and employees to donate to the Europa Donna Cyprus organization during the Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign.