Posted: 23.04.2024 12:15:00

A good deed

The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, laid out an apple orchard in his small homeland on the day of the nationwide subbotnik. The orchard will be placed under the care of local schoolchildren. 

The President and his team during the subbotnik in his small homeland          BELTA

In total, the orchard consists of 411 apple trees. Before the cleanup day, 186 trees were planted — 93 of Belorusskoe Sladkoe variety and 93 of Syabryna variety. The remaining 225 trees of five varieties have been planted with the participation of the Head of State. Most of them include the already mentioned varieties, as well as 25 apple trees of Kovalenkovskoye, Konfetnoe and Red Free varieties.
Aleksandr Lukashenko invited all participants of the event, including journalists, to join in the work. The President sticks to his principle — those who work close to him every day need to change their microphones and cameras for rakes and shovels on a cleanup day. After planting trees, the Head of State considered that the journalists had not worked enough, and invited everyone to chop firewood. Thus, a real master class took place, and everyone worked hard.
During a conversation with journalists, the President noted that the apple orchard would be placed under the care of local schoolchildren. “We are doing this in order to pass it on to schoolchildren later, to enable them to look after it and enjoy the results of their work. As I said, every school should have its own garden plot, where youngsters can dig soil and walk on the ground, touch it with their hands. This will help blow away all stupid thoughts from their minds. The schoolchildren will get this apple orchard to work here,” the Belarusian leader pointed out. 
Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that there used to be peasant plots on the area under the laid out orchard. Now, however, village houses are used mainly in summer while their current owners and heirs use only a small part of the land for vegetable gardens. “It was a wasteland. We cultivated this land and decided to plant different apple tree varieties so as to put this land plot to good use,” the President clarified.
One of the participants of the President’s cleanup team was Igor Abramchik, head of the Spartan-Agro peasant farm in Molodechno District. “He is a farmer, a hard worker. By the way, he is not an agrarian,” the Head of State introduced the man to the journalists. 
“No, I am not an agrarian. I am an engineer-economist by education, I graduated from the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. But still I work on the ground,” the farmer confirmed. 
“An IT specialist,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted and asked whether the young farmer had village roots. It turned out that Igor Abramchik really has rural roots, and spent his first few school years in the village. 
“If a person was born in a village, they always gravitate towards home ground, they want to touch it,” the President concluded and immediately turned the conversation to a practical aspect by inquiring how many hectares of land the farmer has.
“We have a hundred hectares for today. We are gradually expanding,” replied Igor Abramchik, who is engaged in gardening. 
“We can give you a collective farm,” Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested. “I advise you to take a good farm now until there are some. The lands are not bad here.”
“To be honest, I have never done gardening before. I began to slightly delve into this field after I had become a president because we import apples, especially from Poland. Meanwhile, farmers’ apples are better than any Polish ones. Most importantly, they are purer. This is because Belarusian farmers know that if they supply products of poor quality to the market, we will hold them accountable. And how can we hold Poles accountable?.. The situation is exactly the same in healthcare and education. If a doctor takes a scalpel in hands, they know they must do their best, since they bear great responsibility and will be accountable for everything they have done,” the President summed up.

Belarus Segodnya Publishing House staff at the subbotnik at the Military Cemetery in Minsk           Darya Titova

Vitebsk. Bilevo-3 microdistrict             Anton Stepanishchev

Roots of tradition

The roots of social work go back to ancient times. Our ancestors lived in communities, where mutual assistance and team spirit played a fundamental role. The tradition continued during Soviet times. Since April 1919, subbotniks or ‘holidays of communist labour’ as they were called at that time, were initiated.
That was often a forced measure. It was necessary to quickly overcome the post-revolutionary devastation as well as the hard winter of 1919-1920 — there were severe frosts and people did not have enough firewood and coal to heat their homes. The Mogilev-based newspaper Sokha i Molot published articles about communist subbotniks and voskresniks [unpaid labour activities held on Saturday and Sunday, respectively] that set several goals — cleaning streets, repairing railway tracks and harvesting firewood. In Gomel, volunteer labour was also used for the airfield construction.

Subbotnik at the memorial complex Police Battalion under the Command of Konstantin Vladimirov in the village of Gai,
Mogilev Region

Youth Patriotic Centre          Pavel Bohush

The money raised during nationwide subbotniks in previous years was spent on the following:

• 2001: construction and reconstruction of hospitals and polyclinics. Medical facilities in radionuclide-contaminated areas of Brest, Gomel and Mogilev regions were re-equipped.
• 2002: construction of family-type houses for orphans and new medical and wellness facilities for children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Also, the House of Mercy was built.
• 2003: construction of a new building of Belarus’ National Library.
• 2004: reconstruction of the Great Patriotic War monuments and, above all, the Khatyn Memorial Complex.
• 2005: reconstruction of the Brest Hero Fortress Memorial.
• 2006: technical equipment of the Mother and Child Republican Scientific and Practical Centre.
• 2007: renovation of the Zubrenok National Children’s Health Camp and purchase of buses for it, as well as publication of textbooks and teaching aids for children.
• 2008: purchase of mobile intensive care ambulances and medical equipment for children.
• 2009: landscaping of agro-towns, memorial complexes, places of military glory, graves of the Great Patriotic War soldiers and partisans.
• 2010: creation and development of infrastructure for agro-towns in order to improve living standards in rural areas. 
• 2011: rehabilitation and sanatorium treatment of children living or studying in the territory of radioactive contamination.
• 2012: construction of a new building of the Great Patriotic War History Museum and creation of its museum exposition.
• 2013: purchase of special ambulance (emergency care) vehicles with a complete set of medical equipment for them.
• 2014: construction of the Republican Centre for Positron Emission Tomography.
• 2015: purchase of artificial lung ventilation devices to provide medical care to children, and implementation of events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory Day.
• 2016: construction of the Gomel Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital.
• 2017: preparation of children’s health and sports camps for the summer season, as well as educational institutions.
• 2018: purchase of medical equipment for the emergency care hospital, as well as reserve beds in case of emergency hospitalisation of participants and guests of the 2nd European Games 2019.
• 2019: capital repairs and modernisation of the monument to partisans and soldiers and the Eternal Flame on Victory Square in Minsk. 
• 2020: completion of the National Art Museum restoration, and reconstruction under guidance of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee of the mass grave on the site of the burnt village of Ola.
• 2021: restoration and renovation of historical and cultural values and places of military glory associated with the Great Patriotic War, as well as the Healthcare Ministry facilities.
• 2022: financing of major repairs with upgrading and restoration elements of the Khatyn State Memorial Complex.  
• 2023: reconstruction of the memorial complex to the Ozarichi death camp prisoners located in Kalinkovichi District, as well as creation of the Republican Centre for Patriotic Education of Youth based on the Kobrin fortification of the Brest Fortress.

Based on materials of and