The excursion was organized by the Murmansk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society together with the Murmansk State Regional Special Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The excursion group consisted of visually impaired readers of the library The starting point of the route was the village of Mezhdurechye, Murmansk region.
Then the participants of the event went to the memorials in the Valley of Glory, where fierce battles took place in 1941, and the rapid advance of German troops was stopped.
The tour also visited Titovka and Akhmalakhti near the Norwegian border. During the event, its participants laid flowers at the monuments and burial sites of Soviet soldiers who died defending the Fatherland.
Sergey Goncharov, a member of the MRB RGS Council, noted:
"We started cooperating with the Specialized Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as with the regional department of the All-Russian Society of the Blind in 2019 as part of a Presidential grant project dedicated to the creation of tactile models of monuments of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Now we are receiving a large number of requests from blind and visually impaired people – both residents of the Arctic and other regions – who want to participate in such excursions and activities for the development of military-historical tourist routes, both specialized and inclusive."
The Murmansk State Regional Special Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a long–standing partner of the Murmansk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society. Some library employees, including director Natalia Kireeva, are members of the Russian Geographical Society. In 2019-2020, a joint project supported by the Presidential Grants Foundation was implemented. Within the framework of the project, 6 models of monuments dedicated to events of the Great Patriotic War were created by three-dimensional modeling. The project opened up new opportunities for people with vision problems to study the history of their native land. They were able to touch the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War along with everyone else.
“Thanks to joint educational projects of the Murmansk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society and the Special Library, people with disabilities have the opportunity to learn more about the history of our Motherland and our native region. Sergey Goncharov's fascinating story, deep knowledge and passion impressed all the participants of the excursion from an 8-year-old schoolgirl to a library vet, a member of the public organization “Children of War”.He helped them to visualize monuments dedicated to the courage and heroism of the defenders of the Arctic. Our readers still recall the trip and admire Sergey, everyone wants to meet him again, he is a wonderful storyteller,” said Olga Levsha, Deputy director of the library.