Photo: Belarussian Children's Fund
*HealthProm’s project in Belarus is funded by the European Commission (2020 – 2023)
The project in Belarus is funded by the European Union, focusing on providing advocacy and legal support to families of children with severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions (CWSD/LLC), empowering parents as advocates for the rights of their children, developing early intervention services for new families and supporting children living in state residential institutions. Our local partners, RANO, Belarusian Children’s Hospice, Belarusian Children’s Fund in Mogilev, and Est’ Delo have worked tirelessly to deliver the project and support children and their families.
Despite all the difficult external circumstances during the year, including further COVID-19 outbreaks in Belarus and the instability due to war in Ukraine, we went above and beyond our set targets. As we are going into the last year of the project, we are happy to recount last year's achievements:
- The Belarussian Children’s Hospice provided advocacy support and advice to 1,167 children and their families through more than 2,000 face-to-face, online and telephone consultations and legal advice provided by their regional advocates and legal advisor.
- Association of Parents of Premature Children “RANO” provided regular early years home visiting assistance to 26 families with premature babies, in addition, their regional parent coordinators conducted 275 telephone and 672 online consultations on social and legal support to families and provided early years informational support to 419 parents of premature babies across all six regions through their “Rano Online” Viber chat.
- Belarusian Children’s Fund in Mogilev focused their work in the Mogilev region on empowering parents of CWSD/LLC and helping them increase their confidence, knowledge, and skills. They reached 627 parents, specialists and volunteers through various training and information meetings. They also helped start a parent-led group “New Horizons” with 84 parents actively participating in this group during the year.
- Est’ Delo experts on national monitoring of the rights of CWSD/LLC in residential continued the work with Belarusian residential institutions after the ORPD ceased its work in July 2021. Last year Est’ Delo experts developed a monitoring system for 9 children's residential institutions in all six regions and continued working with the following institutions: Gomel boarding house for disabled children with special needs of psychophysical development, Bogushev boarding school and the Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Protection - Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, Dunilovichi psychoneurological boarding house for the elderly and disabled etc. Through their work, they reached 219 children living in these residential institutions.
- HealthProm team organised and facilitated capacity-building training for our four local partners to enable them to become stronger and more effective in protecting the rights of CWD and CWLLC and their families across all regions of Belarus.
- All project partners organised a successful joint PR campaign called “Different Together” (РОЗНЫЯРАЗАМ) in March 2021 in three regions of Belarus (Minsk, Mogilev, Gomel). This campaign was co-funded by the British Embassy in Minsk. In total, people more than 600 people attended the campaign’s events, among them children with disabilities and their families, children without disabilities and the general public. As part of this campaign, our project experts from NGO Est’ Delo (formerly known as ORPD) organised a very unique theatrical performance "Tevye - milkman", which was prepared by pupils and employees of the Gomel residential institution. The play was so successful, with over 500 attendees over the two days, that it will be returning to the stage next year, this time in Minsk – the capital of Belarus.
We are beyond excited for what is to come in the last year of the project as we continue to build on the established advocacy mechanisms for CWSD/LLC in Belarus!
Belarussian Children's Hospice
Belarussian Children's Fund in Mogilev