Here at Yandex, we believe we can make the world a better, more equal place through our technology. We see ample opportunities for leveraging our innovation and service infrastructure to support those in need, and choose to build a sustained community support model that is inseparable from our business objectives.
About Helping Hand
Yandex’s Helping Hand initiative is the core of our corporate citizenship. Introduced in March 2020 as a COVID-response that aimed at providing free taxi rides to medical and social workers and delivering the necessity goods, the initiative has transformed into an extensive action to create accessible environments. Today, the Helping Hand programs comprise the following:
Rides for Non-Profits
Yandex arranges free taxi rides with Yandex Go for people with reduced mobility. These are people with disabilities as well as those who have difficulty using public transport. Free rides are also available for the employees of non-profits.
supported by the program in 2022
free rides provided to people with reduced mobility in 2022
Digital Solutions for Non-Profits
The program offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to utilize Yandex services to enhance
business efficiency and reduce administrative expenses. With the access to Yandex’s services for business like Yandex 360 or Yandex Cloud, non-profits can manage their workflow and correspondence or host CRM systems. Yandex covers all the subscription costs.
benefited from free access to Yandex services for business in 2022
Goods for Non-Profits
The program's mission is to help non-profits free up more resources for growth, for instance, to launch new projects or expand their project or medical teams. For that, we allocate funds raised through the bill rounding-up feature and Yandex's own monthly donations to finance purchase of essential goods, including food and personal hygiene products.
supported by the program in 2022
RUB 98.5 million
transferred to non-profits for necessity good purchases in 2022
Non-Profit Ad Grants
Non-profit advertising helps raise public awareness about social issues and the efforts made by charities to address them. It also enables NGOs to attract new volunteers and raise funds.
have received grants from Yandex for non-profit advertising by the end of 2022
The Rounding-Up Feature
The philosophy behind Yandex’s rounding-up feature is that every small contribution makes a difference, especially if done regularly. By activating the feature, users can increase the amounts they pay via Yandex Go, Yandex Market, Yandex Eats, Yandex Lavka (e-grocery) and Yandex Fuel apps by rounding up the total of their order fees to the nearest whole number (that could be 10, 50, 1,000 rubles or any other amount of choice). The difference is then used to sponsor Helping Hand’s ongoing programs.
Over 900,000 people
had activated and used the rounding feature in Yandex services by the end of May 2023
RUB 186.5 million
raised in donations from individuals via Yandex tools to support the ongoing programs of Helping Hand
During the pandemic
During the peak of the pandemic (between March and September 2020) the Helping Hand organized over 400,000 free Yandex Go rides for 12,000 medical workers in 34 cities, for them to be able to visit as many patients as possible. Free rides were also offered to employees and volunteers of charitable organizations who were in need or commuting to work and hospitals during the lockdown. By the end of September 2020, 65 nonprofits in 104 cities used that option.
We also delivered free food packages and essentials to the elderly, large families and other vulnerable groups in partnership with local authorities and not-for-profit organizations. The total of 56,000 deliveries was made in 58 cities.
Improving the accessibility of services
We aim to develop inclusive services that benefit users, making their
lives easier. Yandex believes that a truly inclusive service is accessible
By investing in digital accessibility, we aim to ensure that the use of digital products is equally convenient for various people, including persons with disabilities and the elderly. Yandex applies the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2 (WCAG) standard to improve service accessibility for blind users. To date, 10 of Yandex's services are already accessible across various platforms and devices. These include Taxi, Search, Lavka, Browser, Disk (for PC and smartphones), Maps (Web version), Mail (app), Translate, Alice virtual assistant and Smart Camera.
We have fully optimized the Yandex Go ride-hailing app for blind users to easily navigate all the app’s features: they can enter a destination, learn and select a ride fare and payment method, book a ride, and leave comments for the driver.
In 2022, our Smart Camera’s text recognition feature was complemented by embedded scenarios for blind users. It now reads cropped and inverted texts as well as instructs blind users on how to move the camera for the text to be recognizable. We also updated the Yandex Conversation, the application that assists people with hearing and speech disabilities by converting speech to text and vice versa.
With the help of Yandex services, people with disabilities or special needs can navigate cities more conveniently.
Yandex Go's functionality features a screen with inclusive options. With its help, users with special needs can indicate specific assistance required during their taxi booking process. This includes requesting sighted guidance to the car, specifying speech disabilities with hearing capabilities, indicating the ability to only read, or mentioning the presence of a guide dog or a wheelchair.
In Moscow, Yandex Go launched a dedicated ride option for wheelchair users, allowing them to book a minivan equipped with a wheelchair lift. To help people learn more about facility accessibility, Yandex Maps supports a special layer showing whether there are ramps or fully accessible restrooms in a building. We consistently update and expand our database, ensuring that the information remains accurate. Both organizations and users of Yandex Maps can contribute by providing feedback and attaching photo evidence of accessible facilities.