Speed-Dating In Belarusian, Borsch Or Career - Belarus Civil Society Digest

Discussion during the project "Borsch or career"

Belarusian women discussed gender-related issues during the talk show "Borsch or career". A new interesting way to promote Belarusian language - Art Siadziba organises speed-dating when people can communicate in the language.

A new portal ngo.by is launched. Anyone who searches partners for joint projects in Belarus and abroad, wishes to be a volunteer or seeks volunteers services volunteers, as well as interested in scholarships, training, educational events can register on the web site.

Civil society campaigns

Civic cultural campaign Budzma runs a gender talk-show under the provocative brand “Borshch or career?”. Topic of female activity remains a traditionally polemic one in Belarusian society and Budzma campaign known mostly for promotion of national language looks to change the accents of its activity. Series of journalistic materials “Let’s be Belarusian women!” (Budzma belarusKami!) is now followed by an offline talk-show and promotional video at Youtube which has less then one hundred views in contradiction to “traditional” cultural mediaproducts of Budzma.

Ctrl+Click or tap to follow the link">Speed-dating in Belarusian language starts in Minsk. Art Siadziba, known for it’s creative promotional steps to national clothes and symbols starts a new language-oriented initiative. First meeting of Speed-dating in Belarusian took place on 30 October. 10 ladies and 10 gents have 2 minutes to know each other better and to communicate in Belarusian language. As a result of speed dating they fill a form giving marks to their partners. If the marks feat each other successfully the participants are informed by the organisers.

Representatives of Local Leader courses run by Oeec.by win at Social Weekend. Marina Alexeenko, Bashni agrotown, got a prize from the construction company realt.by. Also, the Union of Entrepreneurs will assist to engage local business to the project. Project aims to equip a school with sports equipment and conduct sports events for children and their families.

Elena Budnik, Brest Regional Development Fund, got prizes from mamochki.by and a people's judge. Project aims to create a positive atmosphere in Brest children hospital through visits of clowns-doctors and equipment of a game room with cheerful drawings and toys. One can watch a video on results and see the full list of winners.

Belarus in Focus Information Office launches 'Belarus in Focus 2014' – the fourth edition of an annual competition for journalists who write about Belarus for international media. Winners will receive up to 500 euros, and have the chance to network with jury members, fellow journalists and experts at a two-day workshop in Warsaw in spring 2015. Articles can be submitted in English, Danish, French, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, and Swedish.

United Way Belarus NGO launches a new service for ngo.by portal users. Anyone who searches partners for joint projects in Belarus and abroad, wishes to be a volunteer or seeks volunteers services volunteers, as well as interested in scholarships, training, educational events - is welcome to register at the Universal Platform.

Commemoration of Victims of Stalinism took place on 29th of October. Activists hold memory actions at Kurapaty and other places of repressions. 29 October is known as Black Day for Belarusian literature. In 1937 the night from 29 October took lives of more than hundred representatives of Belarusian intelligence.


​​ Ctrl+Click or tap to follow the link">The results of sociologic research on Belarusian literature show that the situation with reading in Belarusian has become a catastrophe. Only 5 per cent of readers prefer literature in Belarusian and 40 per cent of the respondents say that they don’t know Belarusian well enough to read. The survey was conveyed by the “Novak” laboratory for the Belarusian Writers’ Union and campaign “Budzma!”. The state representatives in the person of the National Institute of Education, “Belkniga” JSC, Institute for Journalism (BSU) joined the event, which was followed by BWU open letter to several ministries.​

Presentation of monitoring network on academic freedoms violations is to take place on 18 October in Minsk. Organised by the Public Bologna Committee, the event will present the project on network, the results for the 1st half of 2014 and conduct a short training for observers. The monitoring of academic freedoms violations is aimed at retrieving the actual information about the situation on academic freedoms in Belarusian Higher Education Institutions and implemented by the students and teachers all over Belarus.

Monitoring Freedom of Association and the Status of Non-Profit Organizations in Belarus for the second quarter 2014 – The survey was prepared by the Assembly of NGOs and Legal Transformation Centre and covers the period of July 1 — September 30, 2014. Its aim is to reveal short-term tendencies in the sphere of human rights, social, political and economic situation in Belarus. The survey authors note that no important legal changes concerning NGO status were introduced during the monitoring period.

New Practices in Raising Domestic Funds by CSOs in Europe – This paper was prepared by European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) on demand of the Legal Transformation Centre and Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs of Belarus. The paper focuses on opportunities to enhance CSOs’ financial sustainability by raising funds from private domestic sources and through indirect state support mechanisms. The paper pays particular focus on new fundraising methods and shares specific case examples, such as crowd-funding, sms and donor message service.

Interaction between state and civil society

Platform CSO has gained access to Belarusian prisons. This is the only human rights organisation that now has the opportunity to visit the prisons of Belarus. The corresponding permission was obtained from Department of Execution of Penalties of the Ministry of the Interior. The Platform Innovation CSO for three years works in the field of protecting the rights of inmates in the penitentiary system of Belarus.

The Human Rights Centre 'Viasna' calls to join the campaign for the liberation of Pavel Vinahradau. The activist of the youth organisation 'Zmena' is now serving a 15-day-arrest at the detention centre in Aksrestsina Minsk Centre. 'Viasna' recorded 16 cases of detention of Pavel Vinahradau, which make a total of 165 days of arrest. Human rights defenders believe the example of Pavel Vinahradau as evidence of harassment of opposition-minded citizens and injustice in the Belarusian state.

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.


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter


Follow BelarusDigest on social networks

Related stories
Orphus system Found a typo? Select spelling error with your mouse and press Ctrl + Enter