Socially Oriented Mobile Applications - Digest of Belarusian Civil Society
Belarusian civil society and NGOs engaged in a whole plethora of activities - from developing socially-oriented mobile phone applications to preparing books on organic farming.
Socially oriented mobile applications: Mobile company Velcom under its contest of applications for Android gave the first two places to socially oriented projects. First place went to the application GreenMap Belarus, which allows finding on the map places of collection of different species recycling. Second place went to the mobile application in Belarusian, which allows identifying a user's location next to the object of historical architecture. The authors got respectively $5,000 and $4,000 awards.
Interactive map of Kalinouski's rebellion: To the 150th anniversary of the rebellion led by Kastus Kalinouski, the initiative Belarusian national memory composed a map with illustrations and texts of Belarusian areas related to the rebellion, its leader and participants. The map is made using the service maps.google.com; it allows not only viewing information but also to complement and refine it.
Budzma! events in regions: On January 18, in Gomel, Budzma! campaign conducted a talk show Cultural climate in Gomel: Cold or Hot? attended by 35-40 Gomel residents affiliated with cultural topic. The event was the last in a series of the similar events titled Culture Improves Life! held in all regional cities. On January 25, in Mogilev, Budzma! organizes the Fair of projects to find promising ideas for Mogilev as the cultural capital of Belarus and the CIS in 2013.
Alternative brand concepts of Minsk: Belarusian designer Alexei Latinnik offered two brand concepts of Minsk and their visual solutions. To remind, at the end of 2012 the official logo of Minsk developed by Instid, received mixed public feedback and made many designers to think about creating an alternative brand of Minsk.
Cultural lectures in Homel: Since February, Homel activists launch a series of cultural lectures on the local wooden architecture. Meetings are a part of the campaign to preserve Homel historical heritage and will take place at the Vetka Museum of Folk Art. The first out of six meetings is to be held on February 2; entry is 2,500 rubles (about $0.3).
Fair of Projects in Mahileu: On January 25, Fair of Projects was held in Mahileu. Initiated by the campaign Budzma! and supported by the Mogilev city executive committee, the event was to find interesting cultural ideas to enrich Mogilev as the Cultural Capital of CIS countries and Belarus in 2013. For the first time in the history of Belarus project ideas’ discussion happened in the format of public debate.
Workshops and Conferences
Study visits to Tallinn: E-Governance Academy and Pact, Inc start a new series of study visits for Belarusian activists to get to know with information communication technologies for civil society development. The first visit is to take place on February 24 - March 2, in Tallinn.
BOSS teaches leadership: Brotherhood of Organizations of Student Self-Government (BOSS) conducts a series of trainings and workshops under the project Golden Lessons of Leadership. The closest session Negotiations is to be held on January 27; the cost of participation is 30 thousand rubles (about 3.5 USD).
Training course on Mediation: Center for Effective Communication Feedback in cooperation with Education Center POST invites to participate in the training course Mediation as a method of effective conflict resolution. The training course will be implemented in January-October 2013, and includes 10 thematic modules. The first workshop will be held on February 22-24, 2013; participation is for charge.
Gender likbez: A brochure on the informal gender education Gender Likbez was published in Vilnius. The brochure is the outcome of the project Development of gender sensitivity as a prerequisite for gender equality in Belarus, implemented for two years by the Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius, EHU Center for Gender Studies, Legal Initiative, Belarusian Association of Journalists, Third Sector Centre, International Center for Gender initiatives Adliha.
International conference on elderly issues in Grodno: Third Sector Centre invites to take part in the conference Intellectual, physical and social revitalization of elderly. The event is to be held on March 29-31, in Hrodna. The conference will be attended by experts, scientists, and practitioners from the public and governmental organizations of Belarus, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine. The event is held in the framework of the project The Golden Age University.
Achievements in political science will be awarded in memoriam of Vitali Silitski: Vitali Silitski Commemoration Committee launched the Award For Contribution in Development of Political Science in Belarus to maintain the memory of a Belarusian political scientist and the first director of BISS. The nomination lasts from January 15 till February 28. The Award Ceremony will take place at the beginning of April 2013.
Conversation with Günter Verheugen: On January 24, Liberal Club together with the Minsk International Education Center, German Society for Foreign Affairs, Robert Bosch Foundation held a meeting with the former Vice President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen. Prof. Verheugen shared his vision of economic and foreign policy challenges currently facing the EU, and responded to questions from participants.
Meetup event GMOs - For and Against: On February 1, the Academy of Sciences hosts the first public meeting on the issues of actual genetics and biotechnology GMOs – For and Against. The meeting is held in an informal "meetup" format which enables live discussions on concern issues. The organizer is the community Meetup.by with the support of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology.
First scientific book on organic farming: Center for Environmental Solutions supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture published a collection of scientific papers Organic farming in Belarus: prospects for development. The book provides practical recommendations how to start organic agriculture and how profitable this field is. The electronic version is available at the Center's website.
Monitoring of a barrier-free environment - presentation of results: The Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities invites to the presentation of results of the project Monitoring of a barrier-free environment. The speakers will present Guidelines for monitoring the availability of architectural sites and buildings for people with disabilities and a developed tool to survey the availability of objects for people with disabilities. The event is to take place on February 6, at the venue of the Office.
Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.