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NOVOSIBIRSK, November 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Siberian city Novosibirsk has opened an affiliate of the Time Bank - TimeRepublik - the only bank in the world which makes transactions in seconds, minutes and hours, rather than rubles, dollars or gold, regional coordinator of the TimeRepublik project Maxim Mitusov told Itar-Tass.
The Time Bank is a website used by visitors to exchange their experience, talents and skills, find partners and fellow-thinkers with no money charged. The Time Bank operates on a very simple basis. The hours one spends on assistance to other people, for instance on adjusting someone's computer, babysitting or translating a text, goes to one's personal bank "account". A Time Bank customer who owns the "account" may use it any time, asking other people for the assistance the customer needs, the coordinator explained.
"People want to help each other. Many have realized the fact that in order to survive, one should unite with other people. Money cannot buy everything in this world. Besides, it is not always appropriate to offer money for help but doing a service to someone in return is easy. The Time Bank helps people find each other," the coordinator said.
There are around 100 people in Novosibirsk who have been registered as Time Bank customers. They are people of different professions and talents - photographers, lawyers, hairdressers, translators. The most often-used services offered by the Time Bank in its database are those of a driver, photographer, translator and foreign language teacher.
Julia Ovchinnikova, a hairdresser, is one of the bank customers who offered her services to several people and has accumulated five hours on her bank "card". "The bank offers five more hours for free to anyone who gets registered on the bank website. I have not used my "currency" yet but I am going to have my apartment repaired soon and I will need the help of someone who is an expert in this field," Ovchinnikova said.
Soviet expert in sociology Vladlen Livshits founded the first-ever Time Bank at a bakery in the town of Kokhtla-Yarve in former Soviet Estonia in 1977. The bakery managers paid no extra money to workers if they worked overtime but suggested that the overtime hours should be “deposited” in the so-called " time bank". At the end of every month, a worker was entitled to use the saved time as he pleased.
Later, the idea of the world Time Bank was developed by Canadian economist Edgar Cahn.
The U.S. network of Time Banks numbers around 100 affiliates at present. Similar banks were opened in 30 European countries, Canada and Israel. In Russia, the time bank campaign has been merely developing. Time Bank affiliates have been established in the cities of Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Yelabuga and Naberezhniye Chelny.