Now Reading:
Dar Charity Foundation Lights the Flame of Learning
Full Article 5 minutes read

Dar Charity Foundation Lights the Flame of Learning

New School photos courtesy of Dar Charity Foundation

Furthering Nikita Mishin’s Educational Vision

By Exec Edge Editorial Staff

Education is one of the most powerful tools for social change and human development. But in many parts of the world, access to quality education is limited by poverty, inequality, and lack of resources. That’s why Dar Charity Foundation, a private organization based in Russia, is committed to supporting educational projects that can make a difference for students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

Founded by Nikita Mishin, a successful entrepreneur in the logistics sector and philanthropist, Dar – which means “gift” in Russian — has been operating for 19 years, making it one of the best-established foundations in Russia. The charity’s main project is the New School, a private school in Moscow founded in 2017, which offers a high-level education for students from kindergarten through 11th grade. The New School is also one of the most affordable and inclusive private schools, thanks to the sponsorship of Dar.

But the New School is not the only educational initiative that Dar supports. The foundation also funds programs and grants for students in orphanages, universities, colleges and schools in other countries, such as Armenia, Kenya and Mozambique. The charity’s vision is to create a global network of educational opportunities for students who have the potential and the passion to learn and grow.

As the flagship project of Dar, the New School is the passion project of Mishin, who has articulated a clear educational philosophy focused on student engagement. The school’s mission is to provide a world-class education for students who have the curiosity, the creativity and the courage to pursue their dreams. The school’s curriculum is based on the best practices of international education, combining academic rigor, interdisciplinary learning and project-based work.

The New School is committed to diversity and accessibility. Unlike many private schools around the world, the New School has a relatively low tuition and a needs-blind admission policy – if a student gets accepted, Dar makes certain they can attend. This is to ensure a broad-based student body and to reward student merit and hard work.

Mishin “wants to give every child a chance to have a good education, regardless of their circumstances,” says Polina Levina, Director of Dar. “He believes that education is the key to social mobility and personal development.” Mishin frequently audits classes at the New School via video.

Levina also explains that the New School is not only a benefit for the students, but also for the teachers and the staff. “The teachers are very well-paid and respected, and they have a lot of freedom and creativity in their teaching,” she says. “They also have a lot of opportunities for professional development and exchange with other schools and educators around the world.”

The New School has about 600 students and would like to expand its capacity and facilities in the future. The school also has a strong alumni network, supported by a foundation that helps former students pursue their education abroad or in Russia. Polina says that the alumni are encouraged to give back to the school and the charity, and to support the next generation of students.

While the New School is the main focus of Dar, the foundation also supports other educational projects in Russia and abroad, aiming to create a global perspective and a sense of solidarity among students and educators.

One of the projects that the charity supports is UWC College in Armenia, a part of the United World Colleges movement, which offers a two-year pre-university program for students from different countries and cultures. The charity sponsors one Russian student every year to study at UWC College in Armenia, to experience a diverse and challenging learning environment.

Another project that the charity supports is a school in Kibera, a neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where many children live in extreme poverty and lack access to basic services. The charity helps the school to obtain a license, to provide food and materials for the students, and to offer extra educational programs, such as math and language. Levina says that the charity works to connect the students from the New School in Moscow with the students from the school in Kibera, through video messages, letters and gifts.

“We want our students to understand that they are part of a bigger world, and that they have a responsibility to help others who are less fortunate,” she says. “We want them to see that life is different, and that they should be grateful for what they have.”

The charity also funds educational programs in orphanages, where the children receive extra tutoring and mentoring from volunteers and professionals.

Levina says that Dar responds to needs and opportunities that arise. “We support projects that are close to our vision, and that can make a difference for the students and the educators,” she says. “We also try to help the organizations that we support to find other donors and sponsors, because we cannot do everything alone. We are always looking for new partners and collaborators who share our passion for education.”

Levina says that leading Dar is a rewarding and challenging experience. “I enjoy it very much because I see the results and the reactions,” she says. “I see how we can change the lives of the students and the educators, and how we can contribute to the development of education in Russia and in the world.”



Exec Edge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Input your search keywords and press Enter.