By Marina Bogomazova
A growing number of new graduates are choosing to live far from Minsk to secure their own housing, a stable salary and strong family ties. Every year, about a hundred university and college alumni arrive in the Korelichi District of the Grodno Region seeking employment. They seldom regret substituting the noisy and busy life of a large city for calm and relaxed provincial routine.
Close to home
Minsk wasn’t the ideal destination for Yevgeny Chichkan, a young teacher of mathematics and informatics. He was born in the town of Mir, so was used to a certain degree of tranquillity. His hostel in the capital (where he lived for five years while studying) was never quiet; trains passing below the windows kept him awake. Unsurprisingly, upon graduation, he sought a job in the Korelichi District — where his family lives. He’s been teaching at Zhukhovichi secondary school for three years now, admitting, “I love working with children and have even prolonged my contract with the school. Everyone respects me in the village.”
The school has provided him with a village home and paid him an allowance (which Yevgeny has spent on buying a TV set and sofa). Of course, local grannies are keen to find him a decent fiancee. “Job distribution provides a perfect test for love,” he admits wryly. “I dated a girl for a long time in Minsk and we even planned a wedding. However, on hearing my plans to return home, she called it all off.”
Help for everyone
This summer, seven young specialists — fashion designers, tailors and seamstresses — arrived at the Korelichi public amenities centre; the range of products on sale at the local store has since expanded. The girls sew pillowcases, bed sheets and, even, warm coats. Vika Savul’s curtains quickly sold out while Katya Bartosh’s clothes are proving very popular; she always helps her clients choose the best style to suit them. They live in the local lyceum hostel and, as the public amenities centre has given them an oven, cooking is their new hobby.
“We’re doing our best to create the most comfortable conditions for all young specialists arriving in our district,” notes the Chairman of the Korelichi District Executive Committee, Victor Shaibak. “Young people are offered places at a hostel or receive a service flat or house. Moreover, we pay fair salaries and provide good working conditions. Most people are satisfied by the district’s social policy; after obligatorily working here for two years, few choose to leave.”
Every September, young specialists meet district heads at the Korelichi House of Culture, discussing topical problems, sharing suggestions and finding out more about each other. Such events help newcomers feel welcome in their new home.