Volunteering in Belarus
08 September 2017
Belarus 2017 was an historical trip but for all the right reasons. Not only did we take a record 22 students to work in Zhodino orphanage but 2017 marked the year in which the Belarusian government began the process of closing orphanages; it was to be our last visit to this orphanage.
With so many students, an Old Llandavian, the charity staff and CSL staff, there was a very different atmosphere to previous visits; this was another fault free group, pulling together and continually raising spirits. Whilst in Zhodino we continued to work with the children right up until the day of closure and we were all pleased to learn that nearly all children had found foster placements - the now preferred social solution. In addition to the play schemes and cultural visits, we also painted the outside areas in readiness for its new use as a kindergarten for the town we have become so accustomed to. It is pleasing to know that the years of refurbishment work undertaken will not go to waste.
Although the orphanages are closing down, we are hoping to continue our sixth form trip. The proposal is to work in a rehab centre for children recently taken into care or for children who are from the most socially deprived families. We spent two days at the rehab centre during our trip and met more wonderful children aged 3-14. They were so grateful for the scheme we ran and are already looking forward to future visits from the school if possible.