Blago, Belarus Project

STAND International creates and sustains long term partnerships with many NGOs. This ensures we build trust and understanding. One such project was Blago near Mogilev, Belarus.

Over a period of 15 years we worked with the dedicated Blago team to transform a very old dilapidated Soviet Pioneer Camp into a welcoming, accessible, comfortable and fun site. The camp is now able to host people from all backgrounds, with complex learning and physical needs.

We literally dug the trenches for the central heating pipes, painted buildings, repaired roofs, laid concrete foundations, built access ramps, built adventure playgrounds, laid paths and cleared scrub woodland to make the most of the site. We ran residential camps for children with disabilities and their carers, we challenged ourselves and our partners to include people with disabilities in the mainstream activity programmes being run on site.

We also worked with the local children's hospital and orphanage - renovating play areas and delivering fun activity days for the children.

But the most important element of all this work was the warm friendships, the deep understanding and the lasting memories we have. Blago made us all welcome - we worked hard and we changed lives.

Blago has now reached a point where they have established themselves as a high quality centre welcoming youth groups, carers and cared for, local people needing respite as well as hosting weddings (a reflection on the quality of the work we undertook!). While we are still in touch with our partners we are not taking groups. This may change in the future so watch this space.

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