Foundation: HELP FOR Belorussian children

at the 'Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde Berlin-Köpenick',
represented by the 'Förderverein Lokale Agenda 21 Köpenick' 

harmed by nuclear radiation



  basic situation»       motivation»       support»       model day-care center»       contact»             







An idea has been brought in action, and its results show off since 1990. At this time the hazardous effect the Tshernobyl-disaster will bring to the people for a few days decades had almost disappeared from the public conscience.  The initial idea - to take care of nuclear harmed children of Belorussia, and moreover to indicate compassion and commitment towards the concerned - came from the Polish city of Kraków. This idea was introduced to Berlin and has been supported ever since in terms of financial management and organisation from there. The main idea is to organize and carry out recreational camps, medical treatments specified to deformities of heart in Poland for Belorussian children harmed by radioactive emission. The corporate organization is executed by representatives from three European countries.






basic situation



Especially the children of Belorussia suffer on the constantly deteriorating living conditions, because 70% of the radioactive polluted falling out in 1986 descended in that region. The means of medical care, diagnosis and therapy for diseases caused by radioactive emmission do not even meet the respective requirements. Moreover, "normal" diseases have a much more unexpectable and dangerous course due to the extremely weakened immune system. The demand of food is almost completely covered by the contaminated domestic production. There is also a shortage of opportunities as well as facilities for recreational activities in common and particularly for medical purposes within the country. Due to these circumstances most of possibilities are unaffordable for common citizen. Amendments in the grade of contamination of water, soil and air are, according to leading scientists, not to be expected within the next 20 years. An additional risk is, that the concrete "sarcophagus" built over the damaged reactor section started to disintegrate earlier than expected. The latest estimations quote that at present approximately 65 million inhabitants of the former Soviet Union absorb considerable doses of radioactivity, most of which live in the Ukraine, Belorussia and Russia. Action necessary for evacuation on time has been executed hesitately or were neglected completely. 15 million people are still suffering of the depressing effects or died already on it. All life in Belorussia has changed genetically due to the effects of the nuclear catastrophe. The political development in the region is incalculatable and the countries economical state is disastrous.




motivation and curriculum



The reasons for choosing Poland as the centre for the activities are pragmatically in some aspects, i.e. the costs for food and accommodation are essentially lower compared to western European conditions for eqivalent services. Shorter distances for travelling are less exhausting for the already weakened children and the relation between Polish and Belorussian grants better communication for the children during their treatment. Moreover, the danger of a cultural shock induced by Western European lifestyle is much lower in Poland.
Due to solve the problems of the daily tasks jointly, the offer to communicate as well as the necessity of communications between the variety of national backgrounds is a challenge even for Christians, as most of honorary colleagues understand themselves. The members of the foundation therein the responsibility for the historical encounter, which includes the work on the conflict between individuals of different cultural backgrounds as well as of different economical conditions. There are also other groups and individuals involved in this work (e.g. the Local Agenda 21 in Köpenick).
During the 4 weeks of relaxation, recovering, playing, hiking and singing together in the fresh and clear air of the Beskides (Polish mountainside) as well as being accommodated with both excellent and non contaminated food 30 children per course from the Mogilev region (Belorussia) are enabled to strengthen their weakened immune system. These opportunities have an potential impact on the childrenÂ?s well being according to common medical reports.The most occuring diseases are blood diseases and affections of the thyroid glands well as different affections of the immune system and the hormonal system. Special medical treatments are executed in the University Children's Hospital of Kraków. This medical centre is well furnished with modern equipment. The clinic's personnel is well trained and very engaged in the matter. The same can be said about the children's spa of Rabka, which is situated between Zakopane und Kraków. As there have been carried out several internships by Belorussian physicians we can say, that sound and reasonable practical assistance to the Belorussian people for positive medical development in their country has been given. This will enable them in many ways of helping to help themselves. The scientific exchange as well as communication between the Polish and the Belorussian scientists is to be realized as a further step in international understanding, too.






opportunities of support



There is more than one reason to continue with this work and a long time perspective is required. Connections between a practised protection of the creation and an alternative attitude for the use of atomic energy have to be found. This requires massive engagement of the sole individual as well as , of course, considerable funds..




model day-care center for children and young people with severe mental and physical disabilities



Our contacts with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned about the care and support for mentally- and physically-disabled children and youth (for ex. the Belarussian Association for Aid to Handicapped Children – “BelAPDI” and the Muncipal Caritative Union – “BLAGO”) have led to the creation of a joint project in Mogilev, Belarus. This involves a model day-care center focussing on the therapeutic development of vocational and general creative skills for children and young people with severe mental and physical disabilities.

During 2003, “German Aid for the Disabled” (Deutsche Behindertenhilfe - Aktion Mensch e.V) as well as “Support Program Belarus” (Förderprogramm Belarus 2003/04), which receives funding from the German State Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, agreed to help fund our project.

This project was set into motion during Fall 2003. An interim report on the contents and intentions of this project can be downloaded (pdf-file, 20kb) here.

We from the support agency organize practical and on-job training as well as extension courses in Berlin, Brandenburg and Mogilev for the care center’s staff members. These offerings are also open for the employees of other municipal and regional institutions as well as students from the Pedagogical University of Mogilev. We are cooperating with the following competent organizations in Berlin and Brandenburg in carrying out this project:
Verband Evangelischer Behindertenarbeit Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
- Christophorus-Werkstätten der Samariteranstalten Fürstenwalde
- Stephanus-Werkstätten Berlin gGmbH and
- the Hoffbauer-Stiftung Potsdam-Hermannswerder.

The primary steps taken by this project to date have involved:
- a preparatory, exploratory trip for members of the above organizations to Minsk and Mogilev
an initial trip to Berlin involving seminars and practical experience for the care center’s director and six staff members
multiple-day training options (lectures and practice-oriented seminars) offered by three German specialists in Mogilev.

We are preparing an upcoming Summer trip taking university instructors and other specialists to Mogilev as well as further extension courses. We are momentarily also involved in locating funding for a handicapped-accessible vehicle with 12-14 seats and room for two wheelchairs to transport children to the day-care center and to leisure-time activities. The conditions for the disabled in public transport are intolerable
due to a lack of proper means for boarding vehicles and missing route schedules. Private cars are rarely available.






in poland



University Children's Hospital of Kraków
c/o Elżbieta Kowalczyk
phone:      +48 12 6581607 
email:        elakrak@friko6.onet.pl



in belarus



please use the german contact!



in germany



Joachim and Rose Braun 
Thürnagelstr. 16 
D-12555 Berlin 
phone:  +49 (0)30 656 0128
fax:       +49 (0)30 649 057 22
email:     info@belarus-projekt.org


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