Jinjing stage production: an act to save our planet

High-skilled Russian theatre professionals are producing a performance dedicated to the problem of interaction between Human and Nature

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Sonia Durova

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)


Date Started


Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €10k - €50k

Organisation Type

  • nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Our team was inspired by a real story that happened in Brazil in 2011 . A story of a poor man who found a dying penguin stained with oil and saved him. By the care of the man it grows stronger and starts walking along the coast after his master. Six months later, the penguin swims to its native lands and the man comes to terms with this. But it turns out that the Magellanic penguins are the most devoted beings, and choosing once a soul mate, they remain faithful to him till the death. Every six months, Jinjing migrates to its native lands, but always returns. We turned this story into a poetic parable: the events are set in a not too distant future and all the current problems are sharpened to highlight them for nowadays viewer.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem of global ocean pollution, which may lead to an environmental catastrophe. Many people believe that any positive impact is possible only at the level of high authorities. Our performance is to inspire viewers to save the world around us with simple steps.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our goals: - To make young people concerned about the environmental issues, to help them building a conscious and responsible attitude to the world they live in. - To motivate kids, teens and young adults to be caring and respectful to both people in difficult life situations and animals suffering from mistreat and pollution. - Our artistic language is to inspire the small steps that should improve the environment situation in a little yard, in a local area, in a city.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We are going to make not only a theatre production, but an ecological project. Premiere charity runs will be accompanied by thematic discussions with the audience (our target audience are children from 6 and older, teenagers and young adults). We also plan special events focused on environment protection. Each viewer will get a free booklet shaped as a paper bag with cast list and statistical information on pollution of the world's ocean. The bag may be used to collect waste during our environment protection events. We hope our play will make young and adult viewers respect others and the world we live in. Jinjing is a message to those who are pessimistic and don’t hope their efforts can make a difference.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

The plot of the performance is built around the figure of the lonely man who is lost in the modern world and makes money from waste: he searches for valuable objects. What does not seem useful to him, he throws back into the water. This poor man is also a waste for others as millions of discarded things. He put up with how he lives and with the fact that the world has become a huge dump site. He is ‘a broken thing’ and he repeats hopelessly his daily routine, wandering along the shore and collecting the wreckage of the civilization. The situation changes after he saves a penguin. For the sake of his friend, the man starts changing what he had for many years considered unchanging and hopeless. Gradually, the narrow path to the water started turning into a clean road.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Measuring of the results is really complicated when we are speaking about performing arts. The previous performance made by our company is "Kolya's composition" that is based on poetry of a real boy who has Down syndrome. Every month this performance is shown at least for 140 people in St.Petersburg. Since it's premiere in 2016 it was shown to about 5000 people. And it is the only production for young audience in Russia that raises the problem of tolerance to people with Down syndrome. We hope that "Jinjing" performance will also attract a lot of public attention to the problem of the relationship of man with nature.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The premiere of "Jinjing" performance is already included into the main program of "Harlequin" festival - the most important Russian festival of performances for young audience (St. Petersburg 2021). That will provide a big number of audience for the performance and a good announcement in mass-media for future shows. Also we will apply for participation in other large festivals over Russia.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

We want to create a bridge between professional theatrical art and social volunteering, to attract the attention of theater audience to social problems by means available to us

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Yana Tumina is one of the most successful theatre directors in modern theatre in Russia. Her performances win important National and International theatre prizes and gather full audience halls in different theatres over the country. We are sure that "Jinjing" production will also have a success among audience, theatre critics and mass-media. So it will be a self-sustaining project

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Producer, Director, Stage Designer, Composer (original music), 2 Actors, Video-designer

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

Additional financing will give us additional opportunities for environmental actions that will accompany the performances

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


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