Bragin District Family Clubs: Beginning of the Project’s Second Year


On February 15-20, 2016, Natalya Svyatkina, the manager of the international technical assistance project entitled as “Development of the Network Capacity of Family Clubs in Chernobyl Area in order to Improve Social and Economic Situation”, funded by the EU, held working meetings with members of family clubs and discussed upcoming plans and stages of their implementation.

A meeting with members of the “Vdokhnovenie(“Inspiration”) family cluband the theater community of Bragin was held at Bragin Historical Museum with art gallery that was the base of the above-mentioned club. The club’s manager and activists said that they had started rehearsals of the play based on the love story of Marina Mniszek and False Dmitriy, and presented their existing best practices in that area.

February 16 was full of negotiations. In the first half of the day, prospects of cooperation between the project and the local government were discussed. That meeting was attended by Natalya Svyatkina, the project manager, Nikolay Yashchuk, the deputy chairman of the executive committee, Zhanna Chubsa, the deputy director of the Center of Social Services, and activists of the district. Participants discussed issues of the executive committee’s support of family clubs that worked in the area of improving socio-economic conditions (“Nash Khutorok” (“Our Little Farm”), “Sad Mechty” (“Garden of Dreams”)), in the area of preservation of the regional cultural heritage (“V Krugu Druzey” (“In a Circle of Friends”), “Mikulyanochka”, “Vdokhnovenie”, “Matulin Rushnik” (“Mother’s Towel”)), and in the area of healthy living (“Vozrozhdenie” (“Revival”)). Moreover, the meeting’s participants discussed events planned for May 8-9. As a result of the discussion, scopes of responsibility of each party were determined (the regional executive committee and the project’s participants) regarding promotion of the development of family clubs and organization of holiday events “Bragin Fair”.

On the same day, the trip to Burki village was organized where the Matulin Rushnik” family club worked. Meeting with the club’s members was held in informal atmosphere like traditional Belarusian “vyachorkі” (“get-together” evenings). The conversation was interspersed with songs that older members of the club had carefully conserved and transmitted to young girls with the folk wisdom and crafts traditions. The project manager positively evaluated the club’s work and the form used for transmission of folk traditions. Moreover, the participants got acquainted with two local artists-teachers who made dolls and managed fine art studios. They showed their skills and told about their desire to cooperate within the framework of the project. Members of the “Matulin Rushnik” told about plans for further work on preservation and transmission of song heritage as well as its participation in the upcoming holiday event “Bragin Fair”.

The following days were dedicated to the “Sad Mechty” and “Nash Khutorok” family clubs. During a meeting with members of the “Sad Mechty” which was engaged in breeding raspberries, the participants identified issues which could be addressed by the project and be worked off by the club’ members, i.e. to attract people, purchase seedlings, conduct a master class on the preparation of the ground for raspberries, its planting and handling. To continue a “berry” topic with members of the “Nash Khutorok” club, prospects of processing raspberries were discussed. The head of the club said that among plans of top priority for the coming year were to attract people, list possible products, hold cooking workshops and share recipes.

On the same days, AllaBelyavskaya, a volunteer of the project, musician, teacher, held classes and rehearsals of the children’s musical group. 8 children (pupils of Bragin secondary school) rehearsed songs to the poetry of Belarusian poets: F. Bogushevich, Yanka Kupala, l. Geniush, N. Arsenyeva; and folk songs for further performance within the framework of the project’s events. During rehearsals, the children could learn more about the work of Belarusian poets. According to the participants of the children's musical group, the work on the programme “Zyamelka Prodkau, Zyamlya Svyataya” (“The Land of Forefathers, the Holy Land”) helped them to better understand and appreciate the poetic heritage of Belarus.

According to the results of the meetings, it became clear that the first year of the project had laid a good basis for further development not only for the clubs’ members but also for the residents of district.

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This publication has been produced with the supportoftheEuropeanUnion. Responsibility for the content of the publication rests with the Green Cross Belarus NGO, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.