On Friday, 27 April, a special school in Kryvicy, around 100 km from Minsk, opened its vocational workshop. Funded by the Polish Aid programme as part of the small grants disbursed by the Polish Embassy in Minsk, the project was carried out in collaboration with the Pure Heart church charity. The opening ceremony was attended by chargé d’affaires of the Polish Embassy in Minsk Michał Chabros, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Education Sergey Rudy, and head of the Catholic Church in Belarus Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz.
“It is one of the biggest projects to be implemented thanks to the so-called small grants of the Polish Embassy in Minsk. What makes it special is also its character,” said chargé d’affaires Michał Chabros. “We are helping children and young people who have had some trouble in their lives, and who are now getting back on track,” added the diplomat.
Kryvicy’s Closed-Type State Vocational and Technical Special School (equivalent to a young offender institution) offers residence and schooling to 80 boys aged 12-18 who have been sentenced for up to two years for different offences.
“Twenty-two students are orphans. They mostly come from troubled families. We try to reintegrate them into society,” said head teacher Andrey Dubanevich. Older children can train at the school to become car mechanics, house painters and tile-layers.
As part of the “Formula of Success” project, Poland allocated EUR 65,000 to buy new equipment for the workshop, which will be used to teach students how cars are built and work. The workshop now features models of engines and different motor vehicle systems, as well as electronic diagnostic devices. Other elements of the project, worth a total of EUR 117, are being put in place in Minsk. “We are very happy because this equipment will allow us to show things on the job rather than explaining them in theory as we used to do. We hope that our students will find it much more interesting, and learn the skills they need on the labour market,” said teacher Anatol Krasnevich.
“The Church has always championed social justice, which is why we support important social projects,” said Archbishop Kondrusiewicz. Addressing the attendees, among whom were school students, he emphasized the importance of social rehabilitation and people putting right their mistakes. “The Church never condemns the human being as such, but rather the evil they do,” he added.
Deputy Minister Sergey Rudy thanked the Polish side for the project and its support. He stressed that the students will be able to undertake work in their professions immediately after graduation.
In the past ten years, the Polish Embassy has carried out over 70 small grants projects across Belarus. Their total worth has exceeded EUR 1 million.
(Based on materials of the Polish Embassy in Minsk)