29 applications were submitted to the contest despite the fact that at the moment the local residents have a limited knowledge about participation in grant programmes, they are inexperienced in project work and many have only recently learnt about the foreign term “fundraising”. A project application-writing workshop, consultations with the project team and outsourced expert were held for the participants in preparation to the contest, giving the community members a sense of confidence and encouraging them to take more active steps.
Who are the contest winners? What do the residents of Miory District dream of? What dreams will become reality owing to the European Union’s financial support? What will facilitate the region’s sustainable development?
1. Miory district branch of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union will implement, on the premises of Miory Secondary School No. 3 Museum Association, an initiative on setting up The Miory Land Heritage, an interactive cultural platform to engage young people in education, preservation and promotion of the historical and cultural heritage of the region.
2. Sustainable Solutions, a private institution will implement an initiative on stirring up partnerships in the local community within the framework of landscaping the Miadzviedki Lake shore recreation zone.
3. The Paviaccie Nursery/Preschool/Secondary School gardening plot will be turned into a demonstration/training site for growing and selling ecologically safe products based on organic farming technologies owing to an initiative of the Paviaccie Rural Council.
4. Jeĺnia Backyard Farm will receive an opportunity to equip its mini-workshop for making painted souvenir gingerbreads with images of famous people from Miory District, symbols and logos of the district festivals using a brand developed under the Project.
5. Miory district branch of the Belarusian Veteran Public Association will set up, on the premises of the local social services centre, a social café for senior citizens and disabled persons to help them learn skills of high importance in the present-day world, such as paying for utilities via the Internet, booking an appointment with a doctor, ordering a delivery of goods and foodstuffs, keeping in touch with family members who live outside of the Republic of Belarus, and others.
6. Maciejka Estate Farm in the village of Pierabroddzie plans to raise the tourist attractiveness of the area by preserving and popularizing its cultural and natural heritage with the help of promotional activities, seminars, master classes, training programs and festivals through personal contacts with traditional culture bearers and experts.
7. Jeĺnia Preservation and Development, a social and information institution that will deal with setting up a high quality, modular, user-friendly and diverse bike route next to the famous marsh.
8. Demski Garden Farm plans to expand self-employment opportunities for the residents by developing gardening activities: setting up a bog bilberry plantation and disseminating the best practices of fruit/berry cultivation.
9. There are several contest winners from the neighbouring district: a number of active Braslaŭ residents have made up their minds to share their ideas with the neighbours and give them a hand in their fascinating activity. Lake Land EuroRegion, a Braslaŭ district non-governmental organisation of cross-boundary cooperation, plans to raise the environmental culture among the pupils of Nursery/Preschool No. 1 in Miory by setting up an innovative environmental site called Touch Nature with Your Heart. Children will receive an opportunity to “go to the forest”, learn about vegetation and plant cultivars themselves while staying in the educational institution; this way they will learn to protect and preserve nature by studying it.
10. The Life-Giving Spring, a private entity from Dzisna, the smallest town in Belarus, will create an original ecosystem, planting trees and landscaping a park area that will acquire a number of recreation grounds, street furniture, a lilac alley, a kids’ playground and several bird corners.
Aris Adlers, a member of the contest jury representing the Latvian Rural Forum, the project partner, comments the results as follows: “A large number of interesting applications were submitted to the contest. However, I personally gave preference to innovative projects, the projects meeting modern world’s requirements, which are in line with the sustainable development principles and project applications submitted by NGOs. Winning in the contest is not all. The most difficult things are still ahead. All winners will have to rely on their commitment and personal discipline to implement their bold proposals. We shall watch their progress”.
We heartily welcome all of you who would like to join in the activities aimed at district’s sustainable development, work as a volunteer or give a hand in particular initiatives! Please call the Project Office for further details.
The Local Initiatives Contest was held within the framework of the international technical assistance project “Together for Community and Nature: Reinforcing the Miory District Development through Cooperation of Local Authorities and Civil Society”, which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Miory District Executive Committee, APB-BirdLife Belarus and Latvian Rural Forum.