Exclusive interview: Yulia Kalacheva (eng)

As the founder of a unique training center on Sakhalin, Yulia and her team continue to contribute to the community and the environment launching new initiatives in order to help preserve the island and its resources. In this issue we will discuss with Yulia what sets Millennium apart, what Sakhalin plans are and how living a healthy life style is important in today’s world.

Hello Yulia. You have a very diverse personality. Being a maxillofacial surgeon in the past, you encourage healthy lifestyle today and most importantly, you are a founder of Millennium Training Center. Please tell us about this project.

Millennium is a very important project for me. Since its opening Millennium has developed and grown fast and continue so despite the global pandemic and economic challenges we are facing today. Due to hard work Millennium is now the leading vocational training provider. Our major clients are famous biggest oil and gas companies, project operators, leading construction companies and biggest fishery organizations. Today we have a 130+ onsite and online course curriculum and we continue to increase our course offerings. We mainly specialize in offshore survival, health and safety, ecological safety, vocational training, regulatory and technical training. We focus on giving students the skills they need. It is also worth noting that a large number of English speaking students do training with us because we deliver training in English as all our instructors are bi-lingual!

I would like to mention as well that our training center is OPITO approved to deliver offshore survival training according to the international standards. There are only 5 training centers in Russia having OPITO approval as it sets very high requirements to obtaining such approval.

Also one of important fields that our training center is developing now is taking part in the community projects. Since it’s opening Millennium has been developing itself in this area.

Please tell us about Sakhalin initiatives.

It is better first to begin with what connects me to Sakhalin and how dear this island is to my heart. My father was one of the main engineers constructing oil pipeline in northern Sakhalin. There is even a street in northern Sakhalin named after my father! This island is so close and dear to my heart that I could not miss the opportunity helping its people and nature. That’s why this idea came to me to get the training center involved in the community. 

We try to financially support community projects when we have this possibility. For example, this year Millennium contributed to the “World of opportunities” project organized and led by children and youth support fund “New generation”. The purpose of this project is to give quality education to children of  low-income families.

This and last year we delivered fire safety training to one of local schools. Talking about community projects in general, right now we have so many ideas so we are seeking opportunities to bring these ideas to life. This year, for example, we designed social + technical safety and environmental safety training programs for children of 8 years and older and in the nearest future we plan to begin delivering this training. It is a pity, in my opinion, that ‘teaching children about safety’ is not seeing enough attention nowadays in our society so we would like to fill this gap and contribute to developing the next generation with the help of our training. 

What are you undertaking to stay open during this pandemic? How did you adapt to the new reality?

We have been staying open during all this time. Of course, we have been facing challenges but we are able to adapt to the new conditions fast. For example, this year we began to offer more online trainings so we introduced more programs and upgraded our eLearning Distance System and now we are able to deliver training in various formats. We have a creative and progressive team of experts so we are able to find solutions in any situation. Also we are planning to develop a nutrition program for schoolchildren.

Honestly, your project sounds amazing! Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Sure! Today we are striving to contribute to environmental protection and ecological safety, important and new to Russia. We have training programs on ecological safety and environmental protection even for kids. Training programs are of course tailored to suit the target audience. 

We help to improve general safety culture within our community and ingrain an eco-friendly mentality. 

And how did pandemic change your daily life?

It gave me more opportunities and time actually. For example, being in quarantine for so long I came back to finding the gifts of Sakhalin nature and various vitamin recipes. Organic food, vegetables, fruits and berries all help to perfectly sustain the hormone system, keep fit and give energy to your body.

Talking about healthy nutrition, how did you begin this? 

To begin with, I graduated from medical university. I am major in maxillofacial surgery. I had my practice both in Europe and USA. I also studied microsurgery in the USA. I did have wonderful teachers, all famous surgeons. I have always been taking interest in medicine generally. As a medic, I was interested to know the relationship of proper nutrition and good health. Proper nutrition is a key to good health, it helps to keep fit, protect from many diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, etc. Proper nutrition allows immune system function correctly. And it is important for us, especially during this pandemic.

Do you plan to develop yourself in this field?

Now I am more concentrated on the training center operation. Though my family and friends have been asking me to write a book about proper and sport nutrition for a long time. And, frankly speaking, I am planning to do so and also seek development in sport nutrition. But we will talk about it later.

What do you like to do in your free time? What is the best way to take a break from work?

There was time when I was doing rhythmic gymnastics so no wonder today sports is a big part of my life. I do Pilates, yoga and swimming and go to the gym regularly.  I also love hiking. I often take my dog to hike. Also nature and connection to it are an essential part of my life. I cannot imagine myself without the ocean, sea, forest or mountains. Also I love cooking for my family and friends, search for new recipes, use season vitamin ingredients that help to maintain good health and lift mood. I consult my family and friends regarding sport and proper nutrition and health topics. Now the whole world is facing the pandemic. And this is a challenging situation for everyone: starting from work and business, ending with personal life. That is why it is important to maintain good physical and mental health and go in the right direction.

Please recommend our readers on how to find strength and achieve goals despite challenges:

Develop yourself, learn new things, live today, keep calm and stay in harmony and just enjoy every day!


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