Before March, that pivotal moment of 2020, when Coronavirus hit and everything changed, our charity events would take place in the UK, whilst in Belarus, they would watch as we posted on social media.
This is something we have endeavoured to change in a bid to include Belarusians in our events and there have been some successes but it is hard to change mindsets and demonstrate the possibilities. To that end, however, in closing us down, the pandemic has helped to open opportunities for people in Belarus to take the initiative and create awareness for the work of the charity. In doing so, people there are becoming empowered and more connected than ever before.
Since Belarusians are not impacted so dramatically as we are here in the UK by COVID, they have had greater freedoms to participate in events. A team of 6 young professionals based in Minsk have been training for some time, to enter The Bison Race, a 5km endurance obstacle course in Lagoisk. When they heard about The Together Plan and were offered the opportunity to enter on behalf of the charity’s work in Belarus, they jumped at the opportunity. To participate in an event such as this representing a charity is not the norm at all in Belarus, and certainly, for these individuals, it was something very new. These are not Jewish people and they know that the mainstay of our work is Jewish which is all the more heartening.
The course was extremely hard and required collaborative efforts in support of one another to scale walls and conquer challenges requiring real endurance and staying power. It was a true reflection of who we are as a charity, that pulling together leads to success.
When the team saw their efforts on The Together Plan Facebook page they were incredibly excited, and immediately committed to continuing to run and participate in events for us in Belarus. Their next challenge will be the Over Pina Race in Pinsk in the south of Belarus.
We are extremely excited to see people in Belarus taking action to support our work in the country. It is a real endorsement from the people there, of the work we are doing. This is a real exercise in capacity building, collaboration and empowerment. Positive steps towards building tolerance, friendship and building an understanding of community building and volunteering. We extend a huge thank you to the Clear Sky team.
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