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A non-governmental organization (NGO) under the aegis of the Istochnik Initiative has solicited the support of the Russian Embassy in Abuja to promote Russian culture and language amongst the Russian community in Nigeria, as well as Nigerian professionals that were trained in Russia.
Istochnik Initiative also wishes to leverage the vast potential of Russian compatriots and Russian-trained graduates in the country to promote and foster Russian-Nigerian economic, social, and business activities.
The founder of the NGO, Mrs. Olga Igbo made this appeal on Monday, at the official inauguration of Istochnik Initiative by Russian Embassy in Abuja.
She said: “The Istochnik Initiative is a non-governmental (NGO) non-profit public organization that was registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission on 28 January 2020 to encourage interest in the Russian language and culture amongst Russian compatriots, Nigerians of Russian heritage as well as the Russian-speaking community in Nigeria.
“In addition, Istochnik Initiative aims to popularization Russian education in Nigeria and promote Russian universities in Nigeria.  Furthermore, the NGO is expected to make use of the vast potential of Russian compatriots and Russian-trained graduates to promote and foster Russian-Nigerian economic, social, and business activities.  Lastly, the NGO seeks to provide assistance to Russian compatriots and the Russian-speaking community at large in terms of social, financial, legal, and logistics support as well as assistance in the process of integration of new Russian arrivals into the Nigerian society”.
Earlier in his remarks,
Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy, Mr. Vasiliy Zolotuhin said that within short period of time, the organization gained momentum by opening a venue for its onsite events, while mobilizing Russian speaking community and introducing good habits of regular gatherings on national occasions.
“Today we celebrate the official inauguration of ‘Istochnik Initiative,’
as the second organization of Russian compatriots in Nigeria, the first being ‘Russian House’ in Lagos. I cannot help but applaud the good choice of title for this NGO. The word “Istochnik” in Russian means ‘source’ or ‘spring’, just like the NGO promises to become a spring of new fresh trends in the life of the Russian Community in Abuja and Nigeria in general. At the same time, ‘Initiative’ stands for the fact that it is an example of purely grassroots civil society movement,
headed by a devoted Russian compatriot,” he disclosed.
He also assured that the Embassy is already doing the necessary things to help ‘Istochnik Initiative integrate into the system of Russian governmental programs.
He further  promised to  establish contacts with academic and cultural entities
in Russia to empower the initiative with diplomatic support, where necessary.
Giving a brief background of the founder of  Istochnik Initiative, the  Cultural Attaché Mr. Ivan Lydkin explained that the brainchild of Mrs. Olga Ivanovna Igbo is a renown Russian Language/Literature specialist in Nigeria and Russia based on her immense teaching experience as a Russian Language lecturer in the University of Ibadan and a senior lecturer at V.I. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute.
He said: “This passion for the propagation of Russian language and literature had been evident since her lecturing days at the University of Ibadan when she organized Russian cultural activities and Russian language classes for the children of Russian women living in Ibadan.
“Then, with the support of the Russian Embassy in Lagos, she established a Russian library that included Russian films and subscribed to Russian newspapers and journals for the benefit of the Russian-speaking community.
“Accordingly, the Russian Embassy in Abuja had supported Mrs. Olga IGBO in her initiative to establish the Istochnik Initiative NGO and actively supported the NGO in the organization of several Russian cultural activities”.
On his part, the
Assistant General Secretary of ‘Soyuznik’ Alumni Association Dr. Felix Odiah welcomes the initiative.
He called for support and promotion of the Istochnik Initiative.

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