The initiative has been implemented by the Belarusian Young Christian Women's Association since February 2018 and is one of 12 mini-projects, supported by the European Union and DVV International Belarus (the Representative Office of the German Adult Education Association in the Republic of Belarus) within the framework of the project "Learn to Act".
The main target group of the initiative is residents of rural areas living on the territories affected by the Chernobyl accident, who for various reasons found themselves in a difficult life situation.
The actual problems for the residents of this region are - low standard of living, lack of well-paid jobs, lack of qualified specialists, as well as social isolation of the senior people.
The Belarusian Young Christian Women's Association has been working with this target group in Karma district since 2013. During this time, 4 projects aimed at socializing and inclusion of vulnerable groups have been successfully implemented in partnership with the Karma district social services center and the Karma District Council of Deputies.
As a result of long-term cooperation, the NGO has not only developed good partnership relations with local social services and authorities, but also gained great experience by work with people in difficult life situations and has become aware of their problems and needs.
Barsuki village executive committee where the Center Adult Education is being created joined the already established partnership. The premises for classes have already been arranged, necessary equipment and materials have been purchased.
The first training course started on May 4. The program based on the principles of dual education was developed specifically for the target group. It consists of three components (training modules) responding to the most significant problems and needs of local residents who are in difficult life situations: information about social rights and opportunities to get support; assistance in solving the problem of employment and self-employment; creation of conditions for joint art therapy.
In the process of non-formal learning, participants not only get the theoretical basics in crucial areas, but also engage in artistic work - they master the skills of working with cloth in patchwork technique.
Patchwork is a kind of needlework, in which pieces of cloth create unique colorful items such as souvenirs, bags, etc. In the process of this creation, the participants get skills of working on a sewing machine, learn to create color compositions from cloth, join artwork. It may solve the problem of employment for some participants in the future, because they can became craftsmen.
As the first classes showed, the participants have outstanding abilities for various kinds of craftsmanship. They became interested in other opportunities for self-employment in rural areas. They have a good motivation and interest in further training, which will help them get out of difficult life situation.
The first results of the project are encouraging. The discussion of the first quarter of the project implementation is planned for the beginning of June at the meeting of the permanent commission on social issues and problems of overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster at the Karma District Council of Deputies to be attended by all partners and stakeholders.