Belarus

If you wish to sponsor a child in Belarus then you can choose between our Children's Village at Borovljany, about 15 miles north-east of the capital Minsk, our village at Marina Gorka, about 25 miles from Minsk and our Children's Village in Mogilev, Belarus’ third-largest town. If however you would like to support programmes like those below you could consider sponsoring a village or making a regular donation.

Sponsor a Children's Village in Belarus

SOS child in Belarus

The SOS Social Centre at Borovljang, near Minsk focuses on the health and well-being of mothers and children to help strengthen the family and prevent abandonment. Particular help is given to counter the continuing side-affects of the Chernobyl reactor disaster in 1986 - psychological help, treatment and prevention of cancers and HIV/AIDS, as well as practical help. In addition parents are made aware of their rights through free legal advice. The real success was that Social Centre received many messages from former beneficiaries who managed to solve their social problems. The SOS Social Centre will extend its work to help prevent abandonment by co-operating with local schools to support problem families.

Andrey had a life like any other 17-year-old in Belarus. He was at school and then he was asked to go for a medical check-up before doing his military service. It was then that he found out that, like many Belarusian children, he had cancer as a direct result of the Chernobyl disaster. Life for Andrey and his mother changed: daily treatment at the local out-patients’ clinic and then back to their temporary home at the SOS Social Centre in Borovljany, which is only 100 yards from the clinic. Andrey's biggest wish is to get well and to be able to go back to school. What will happen in the future is unclear. Andrey said "I have stopped my studies temporarily, but the school promised to take me back. When I am well again, I can continue to study at the point where I stopped.”

"We are very happy we can stay here at the centre, as the atmosphere here is much more homely than the hospital," says Andrey's mother. "We don't have to stare at hospital uniforms day and night. Here we can wake up exactly when we need to, not like in the hospital where the alarm-clock rings at seven in the morning. We don't pay rent here. If we rented a flat in Minsk it would be very expensive and we could not afford it. "We are very happy here, there's nothing negative I could refer to. We have only great gratitude for the people here at the centre and their supporters."

The SOS Social Centre at Marina Gorka focuses on the early prevention of abandonment paying special attention to children regardless of the mothers’ age. The number of beneficiaries continues to increase, as new families are accepted into the project. Some need and receive regular follow up and support, others need just short-term help and others only need one-off support. The focus is on strengthening the families’ own resources, so that they are able to look after themselves and be an example to others. Behind the statistics there are real results: families stayed together rather than being divorced, parents found jobs, families did not lose their homes and families had improved living conditions for children.

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If you’d like to see the real Africa, from children’s viewpoints, look at Our Africa, a collection of videos from the continent.