New archives section Belarus
by Philipp Rodriguez (Mar 28, 2009)
A new archives section for SCI activities in Belarus has been installed. Recently files were acquired, which give insight in the birth of an new SCI group in a post soviet republic.
Volunteers of SCI have been participating in workcamps in Belarus since 1989. At this time the only way to do international voluntary work was possible through the SSO (Students Construction Organization), which was part of the the state - communist- youth organization Konsomol. Volunteers took part in activities of construction mostly.
In 1990 a SCI volunteer was staying as Long Term Volunteer in Belarus. She was trying to help to put up a scheme of cooperation between SCI and SSO. Two years later the organization changed its name to ATM, which became the first international voluntary organization in Belarus.
SCI and ATM developed the idea to start a series of new workcamps with the title Chernobyl Project in 1992. The idea was to ecological education and the aftermaths of the Chernobyl accident. In the early 1990s other youth organization, like Next Stop New Life started to offer workcamps as well. SCI decided to send volunteers to their workcamps in 1993. During 1993 and 1994 two Long term volunteers (LTV) of SCI were participating in the activities of SCI in Belarus. They helped to organize the workcamps and ensured the contact with the two partner organizations, ATM and Next Stop New Life. At the same time a Belarusian LTV went to Switzerland, in order to get experience in ecological education.
In 1995 another large project was started by SCI and ATM, a Democracy Program, in order to organze seminars, study workcamps and publications. In that year it turned out the approach and expectations of SCI and ATM did dispersed significantly. While SCI promoted volunteers to become active and taking responsiblities in the organization, ATM followed an top down approach lead by paid staff. In the beginning of 1996 the cooperation was finally stopped. An group of Belarusians volunteers under guidance of SCI volunteers started an SCI contact group, which was called New Group. In Spring 1996 the East-West working group of SCI, GATE, to support the group and to send volunteers to two camps called ecológica theatre organized by New Group. Thanks to efforts of the new organisation and support from other SCI branches workcamps and seminars were organized in the following years. Since 2000 New Group is an accredited group of SCI.
List of files of SCI in Belarus
Example of documents.