Our prime role as a charity is to collect, receive and process items of humanitarian aid prior to loading our vehicles and then make the journey across Europe to Belarus. In Belarus our support is to non government organisations and institutions operated by volunteers on behalf of the disabled and sick people of all ages many who live in quite severe poverty. Life is hard for the poor in Belarus and even harder for those with ill health and disability. We have been able, with the help of UK companies and generous providers of a wide range of items to make a huge difference to the lives of the less fortunate in Belarus for over 20 years.
Imagine a youngster of 16 years or maybe even 26 years who is permanent bedridden and now too heavy for his mum to lift him/her into another room to share time with his family. On receipt of a wheelchair he/she is mobile for the first time in life – that makes a real difference not just to them but to parents and family as well. We have delivered walking aids, incontinent and hygiene items, sports, arts and recreational items for schools, bicycles and toys, household items including fridges and furniture, sewing machines and computers, household paint, toilets, wash basins and building materials to assist in the development of local projects the organisations are undertaking as well as clothing, footwear and even reading glasses.
Our aid team has been making deliveries to Belarus for over 20 years but under Covid 19 restrictions we are in LOCKDOWN like so many similar operators. This is a huge disappointment to our team and even more so to our receiving organisations in Belarus. Our last convoy was sent in October 2019 to the town of Ivatsevichi and an organisation for the blind and those with impaired sight. Our deliveries planned for March and October 2020 were cancelled due to the restrictions here and in Belarus so we have a build up of stock, vehicles available and our convoy drivers keen to make the journey.
We have used Zoom meetings and email to maintain contact and eagerly await the news post Covid 19 that our build up activity to sending convoys can recommence. We plan two convoys in 2021, hopefully early summer and then again in the autumn. Much has changed in the passing months with Brexit and the situation in Belarus where the borders to charity vehicles have been closed. It will be a learning curve for us but we are positive that we will be there later this year.
Mike Allison February 2021