Sponsor a child in Belarus
Many people living in Belarus are feeling the impact of the recent social and economic crisis. Many children are forced to work, and a high percentage are married before they reach adulthood. SOS Children have been working in Belarus after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Please help vulnerable children living in Belarus to grow up in a loving environment. Sponsor a child with SOS Children:
Growing up in Belarus
- The Roma minority face discrimination in all areas of life. It begins with difficulties enrolling in schools, which leads to high levels of illiteracy and results in high levels of unemployment.
- It's estimated that 5% of children under the age of 14 are forced to work, and over 3% are also forced into marriage before they reach adulthood.
- Human trafficking affects children and the country is a source and transit point for girls forced to work in prostitution in Central and Western Europe.
- Children who are most at risk of losing parental care are those with special needs and those who have been subject to abuse.
Our Work in Belarus
Belarus was severely affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. It was for this reason that SOS Children’s Villages decided to build a village, which provided a home as well as a treatment centre for children suffering from the effects of radiation.
At present SOS Children run various programmes which support children, young people and families in the surrounding communities. Youth programmes provide young adults with advice, allowing them to learn how to live semi-independently. The SOS social centres have been running family strengthening programmes.
In 1991 the state government gave us a plot of land in Borovljany, about 15 miles north-east of the capital Minsk. The Village has 13 family houses which are home to 100 children. An SOS Youth Home has been established in Minsk for the older children who have grown up in the Village and are on the verge of independence.
We run a Family Strengthening Programme which works with vulnerable families and communities who are unable to properly care for their children due to health or socio-economic problems. We provide holistic support to enable children to stay within their natural families, whilst ensuring their educational and developmental needs are met.
In addition, there is a health centre for children here affected by radiation. Every year, over 200 children from the area around Chernobyl receive treatment for radiation damage at the SOS Social Centre, with priority given to children from very poor or single-parent families. As well as medical treatment, the centre offers remedial education and a wide range of chances for children to be children.
In Spring 2008, we started an ‘SOS Playbus’ Mobile centre for children offering imaginative play material. The bus stops off at public parks and hospitals, at orphanages and grey concrete tower blocks. The educational games teach the children about their rights, the environment and other themes. During the events the Playbus-team also works with parents and teachers.
A second SOS Children's Village was opened in 2004 in Marina Gorka, about 25 miles from Minsk and it consists of 12 family houses for 84 children. The Village is currently being expanded to include a few extra houses. There is also an SOS Social Centre that runs a Family Strengthening Programme for 700 vulnerable children and their families in the local community. The neighbouring residential area is well-equipped and offers a park, a school, a nursery, a hospital and shops.
A third SOS Children’s Village opened in Mogilev in 2010. Mogilev is Belarus’ third-largest city. The Village provides housing for up to 91 children. A Family Strengthening Programme was started here in 2007.
Life in SOS Children's Village Belarus
Dima arrived at SOS Children’s Village Borovljany recently from a local orphanage. He describes the differences between the Village and the orphanage:
"Everything here feels so free - I can play outside the house if I want. In the orphanage there was only work all the time; although here children also help sometimes, it's completely different. Here at home, in the Children’s Village, we are seven kids and a mother. In the orphanage…I wouldn't say it was bad to live there, but many children escaped because they wanted a real home. There were always many children and a lot of noise - no chance to be alone. Everybody in the orphanage wanted to have a home. Here in my new home I have a family.”
Please include the name of your sponsored child in the address of any postal or email communication with our office in Belarus. Thank you.
Tel: +375 17 306 4510, +375 17 306 4511, +375 17 306 4512
Fax: +375 17 306-4512