St Mary’s students raise funds for Belarus Project

The Belarusian Orphanage Project is a voluntary charity working in the Novinki Orphanage and the Semashko, Draznia and Viacha Institutions in Minsk, Belarus, in the former Soviet Union. Novinki is the home to over 210 children and Viacha/Draznia/Semashko to over 1000 residents all differently-abled and who, due to the rules of government and their disabilities, are not allowed to travel out of the country for rest and recuperation holidays in Ireland or in Europe. These are known locally as ‘the forgotten children/people’. Many of these children have been residents in the institution for over 17 years without a break. Next Summer 120+ Irish volunteers will travel out to work on a holiday programme for the children as part of our Spring/Summer Project 2012. The volunteers will travel the 2500kms and will give up our time to provide a quality of life and a break from institutionalisation to the kids, taking them on a variety of excursions and trips to various sights and holiday destinations within their own country and also provide full time recreational care within the orphanages and Institutions for those children and adults who are unable to travel. The transition year students who will travel to Belarus this summer are: Natasha Healy, Eilish Roche, Sarah McCarthy, Ciara Doherty, Clodagh O’Callaghan, Niamh O’Sullivan, Lisa Buckley, Katie O’Rourke, Julie Buckley, Megan Slattery, Doireann O’Sullivan and Mairéad Brennan.