CCIN was first established in 1999 when it was decided, following a visit to Ozarichi Main school, to raise money to build an attached boys and girls toilet with mains drainage all to western standards. This is to replace the air conditioned gravity toilet at the end of the school vegetable garden.
We had no idea how long it would take to raise the money or even how to do it. Even when we had raised the money, 8 months later we then had to start the process of looking for builders.
Over the last 18 years we have sent 34 containers of aid which means over ONE & A QUARTER MILLION POUNDS worth of donated goods.
We had not even thought about sending aid when the charity began.
Aid examples include:
People just started giving toys and clothes for the children…….
Eventually we obtained two 20 foot containers to store the donations which now reside in Warminster thanks to the generosity of Gibbs Transport.
When they are both packed to the doors we book a 40 foot container and on the appointed day, with volunteer helpers, everything is loaded, the container locked and off it goes to Belarus.
The journey takes 15 days of traveling but can take up to 6 months for release – mountains of paperwork in Russian and English!
Our sponsorship scheme is unique in the region, The sponsorship money, £12.50 per month, goes directly to the Kalinkovichi Education Department Budget and is then distributed to the children in the form of improved school meals. Any money left over goes directly to the family twice a year in the form of goods beneficial to the child such as dried foods, clothes, winter boots and vitamins.
This unique scheme took 2 years to set up in such a way that 100% of the sponsorship money gets to the child. The local government were immensely helpful.
In just 18 years since CCIN started, the number of sponsored children has gone from one to over 300. All the main school children benefit from improved school meals, and at present about half of the kindergarten are sponsored.
This scheme is so successful that it is now used as an example to other schools and NGO’s on how beneficial sponsorship schemes can be if all parties work together.
The photo shows a food parcel just delivered to a low income family.
This is Dasha, one of the sponsored children at the Ozarichi Kindergarten. She is a happy child even though she has numerous medical ailments.
Children at the Kindergarten receive 3 small meals a day. We have always thought the staff there are very caring and promote a happy conducive atmosphere.
The Chairman, Bob Barrett or other Trustees have visited Belarus twice a year since the charity began.
His visit in Jan/Feb 2016 with his wife, and Adrian Walker, both trustees, was very significant as decisions had to be made to comply with new Belorussian regulations that had recently come into force.
This was Bob’s third visit and he was very keen to learn more about running of the Charity. They visited the schools and kindergartens in various towns and villages, checking on building projects and visiting sponsored children. There were also meetings with several officials, head teachers and directors and also our building manager. A trip to the bank to change dollars to Belorussian rubles is also necessary.
Photographs were taken of works being undertaken and also possible future projects for us to choose from, as well as pictures of village life in general. Food parcels were delivered and letters for the children given out.
Contracts were drawn up and signed and a list of children not yet sponsored prepared.
It is a very busy, rewarding and enjoyable 7-10 days meeting the children and people of Belarus.