Project information

Changing lives for disabled orphans in Belarus

To improve the quality of life of disabled children living in orphanages, and to help many of these children to find a family. We wish to build on the work we have done in recent years, improving the care of institutionalised children, finding suitable families for them and changing attitudes.

March 2014 - March 2016

Charity information

Chernobyl Children's Project (UK)

Chernobyl Children's Project (UK) logo
  • Need


    The Government have decided started a programe of closing orphanages and returning children to their own families or finding them foster families. The Education Ministry is aware that more training is needed to do this successfully. For children with disabilities this is a much harder task and there are currently no government targets for closing these orphanages. Support is needed to continue the improvement of care within these homes, and to make it possible to find foster families.


    We will give training to orphanage staff, social workers and potential foster parents; fund extra staff within the institutions to improve care and to facilitate the movement of children back to their families; help young people to develop life skills before they leave care; organise educational visits; support families fostering children with disabilities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide the support needed to return children to their birth families where this is appropriate


    » Fund staff who will work with children, other orphanage staff and the parents to facilitate a move back home when possible, and give ongoing support

    Success will be more children returning to their families, staying within those families and showing that they have settled happily

    Aim 2

    To provide training for staff who will select, prepare and support foster families


    » Send professionals from the UK to give training programmes in Gomel, and to train local specialists to pass this training on

    Success will be 16 staff being trained by UK proffessionals; this training being passed on to another 30 people; an increased number of foster families in Gomel Region

    Aim 3

    To raise awareness of the need for children with special needs to be brought up in a loving family


    » Provide training for teachers, doctors and other professionals and run a publicity campaign in Gomel, involving leaflets, posters and media coverage

    Success will be a wide publicity campaign and an improvement in the numbers of disabled children being offered the chance of a family

    Aim 4

    To improve the quality of life of those children who continue to live in orphanages


    » Provide training for staff in the orphanages and educational visits to Britain
    » Send volunteers with specialist skills to work in the orphanages
    » Fund extra staff to improve the quality of care and lobby for a change in norms which will increase staffing levels
    » Provide holidays for the children within Belarus or in the UK

    Success will be seen by the numbers of children enjoying a holiday or being provided with better personal care or improved educational opportunities

  • Impact


    Our project should help to speed up the closure of most of the children’s homes and put in place adequate support for children who have moved on to foster families. Most importantly it should continue to develop the changes in attitude which we have helped to bring about in recent years, resulting eventually in an acknowledgement by the state and the general population that all children, regardless of their ability, should be brought up whenever possible within a loving family.


    There could be a change in attitude from the state towards working with foreign partners. We try at all times to work in co-operation with education and social protection department so that this is not likely.


    We will send out an e-newsletter monthly and a larger newsletter by post three times a year. All our projects are also covered in detail with regular updates on our website. We will write directly to larger donors giving them details and photographs of our ongoing work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £28,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,000 Staff Extra carers and teachers
      £4,500 Educational visits Two groups of visitors to study in UK
      £3,000 Training 4 professionals to Belarus to give training
      £4,000 Support work 12 vols to work in orphanages
      £4,000 Publicity Leaflets, posters, adverts, media work
      £4,000 Foster support Foster care project manager
      £1,500 Admin Support from Gomel Office staff

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Group of volunteers £3,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Gomel Region in the South West of Belarus is the most contaminated part of country. The Chernobyl reactor was in Ukraine but just over the border from this region of Belarus, and the northerly winds deposited very heavy fallout in this area. There were many poor families living in the villages in this region and these two factors have contributed to a large number of children being placed in institutions.


    Children living in orphanages throughout the region. There are six orphanages for ordinary children one for children with mild learning difficulties, a boarding school for children with cerebral palsy and a large children’s home for severely disabled children. Life should improve for all these children and also for those who have recently been fostered into a family or returned to their birth family.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working in Gomel Region for eighteen years. We have very well established contacts with the Education and Social Protection Departments, with their Ministries, and with the directors of the institutions. We have a team working for us in Gomel who can facilitate all our projects. And we have a broad range of professionals in child care and development who are willing to give their time to train others. Over the last thirteen years we have conducted fifty training programmes in Gomel

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Linda Walker

    CCP(UK) EDirector, she will be involved in all aspects of the project, particularly in organising educational visits and lobbying for change in Belaru

    Geoff Wright

    Geoff, who is a former senior manager in Children's Services in Essex, is our Head of Training and he will co-ordinate the training programme.

    Natalia Samoilick

    Director of our partner organisation in Gomel, ‘Supporting Children Together’ who facilitate all our programmes in the region