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Results of ICRIN Project Implementation in Belarus Have Been Presented

The results of the Project “Development of International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN)” in the Republic of Belarus were presented on 27 April in the conference hall of the Planeta Hotel in Minsk. The event was attended by the members of the Project Advisory Committee and beneficiaries of the international assistance who shared impressions and outlined plans for the future.

During two years of its implementation in Belarus (from May 2010 to April 2012), the Project has organized more than 30 trainings for journalists, professionals of education and cultural sectors, representatives of non-governmental organizations, senior officials and local households. The key topics included radiation safety and rules of living in the Chernobyl affected areas, healthy lifestyle, basics of computer literacy and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for local communities development, formulation of project proposals and the main implementation principles of international technical assistance projects.

Six centers for access to information and communication technologies (ICT centers) equipped with computers and presentation facilities were opened in the central district libraries in the towns of Vietka, Jelsk and Čerikau, rural houses of culture in the villages of Iljich and Belitck and the memorial museum named after N.P.Leschinsky in the Liutvinavicy village. The cost of equipment for one center averaged about US$9 thousand. The Republican Unitary Enterprise “Beltelecom” will sponsor free access to Internet till end-2013 for the users of the centers. “ICT centers will not only allow local households to receive the most recent information, they are seen as places where people can spend free time and get access to distance counseling, education and on-line services. Most importantly, the centers are a very good platform for local initiative development”, – said Ivan Zatsepin, ICRIN Project Manager in Belarus.

The Project organized a contest of local project initiatives. Out of 110 project proposals, the members of the Advisory Committee selected 12 best projects which were funded in 2011-2012. The aggregate budget totaled US$300 thousand including US$81 thousand of grant funding provided by the ICRIN Project and US$219 thousand co-funded by participants.

The selected initiatives included a whole range of activities such as renovation of the gym of the high school in Kalinkavičy, provision of equipment to the Čerikau district fitness and recuperation center “Orientir” and “Health Center” of the Nikalaieuski rural executive committee of the Buda-Kašaliova district. Video equipment was procured for the Rečyca district center of children’s creative activities allowing visitors of the “Young journalist” hobby group to produce reels for promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The territorial recuperation and tourism center in the Dovsk high school received a playground for rock climbing, fitness hall and gym. An exhibition hall was opened and equipped in Rahačou where local craftsmen can exhibit their works and sell them to tourists.

The ICRIN Project has funded publication of the book “Chernobyl Memory” written by V.Gatsko, Director of the Čhoiniki Museum, procurement and installation of audio and video equipment in the Vietka museum allowing to use modern information technologies for demonstration of rich ethnographic material. The Bukčany rural executive committee of the Lelčicy district together with partners cleared and repaired 41 well. The local foundation of rural areas development “Rrevitalization-Agro” initiated elimination of unregulated dumps in three villages of the Slauharad district. In response to the initiative of the Brest Regional Endocrinological Facility, a portable ultrasound scanner Honda HS-2000 was procured and installed in the Red Cross mobile diagnosing laboratory and it is now used for screening of thyroid gland pathologies. A THERA-Trainer was procured for the Rečica central district hospital which is used for active and passive rehabilitation of upper and lower extremities of patients who had a stroke.

“Though the country budget of the Project is relatively small (about US$350 thousand), its achievements are fairly impressive, – said Nikolay Tsybulko, ICRIN Project National Coordinator. – The main outcomes of such projects are enhanced local initiative and improved capacity of local people living in the Chernobyl contaminated areas for addressing their daily concerns”.

Deputy UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Farid Garakhanov said that UNDP would initiate new regional development projects and invited all interested organizations to participate.

The Project “Development of International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN)” was implemented through joint efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The national implementing agency was the Ministry on Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.

For further information, please contact Ivan Zatsepin, ICRIN Project Manager, tel.: +375 44 77-15-987, e-mail: .

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