“Same as in Germany,” jokes the director of the Minsk-based orphanage #1, Yelena Shelayeva, when she shows me the sleeping room that was reconditioned by young Germans. A light and cozy room is an appeal to the eye.
— Volunteers from Germany started helping Belarusian children in 2004, the director continues. — First it was just humanitarian help, but then the head of the German organization, Kurt Wramel, thought it was not enough. So the following year the humanitarian convoy was escorted by six volunteers that helped the school, taught children German and spoke about their native land. The experience was successful. This year 13 volunteers came to Belarus. They redecorated the school and redeveloped the territory around the school within two weeks. The 20–25-year-olds came here to see this country with their own eyes and help the orphans to live a better life. I guess they succeeded.
The organization “German Evangelical Youth” decided to invite 30 orphans from Belarus to take a two-week recreational and recuperation course in Germany. The leader of the delegation, Helmut Mittermeier, says these trips will be regular. This is another tiny, but very strong link between Belarus and Germany.
by Dmitry Semizhon
German volunteers helped to recondition Belarusian orphanages