'Family Home 2000'

Our Family Home at Klimovka

One of CCP’s priorities in all of its work in Belarus has been to encourage the authorities towards de-institutionalisation. The well-being of children and young adults is known to be much improved if they are able to grow up and live in a family environment rather than in an institution.

Early in 2000 Gomel Regional Education Department gave us half a kindergarten in the village of Klimovka, not far from Gomel City. With the support of the Regional Social Protection Department we spent several months that year renovating it and turning it into a very comfortable home for four young people.

The first person to move in was Sasha, an intelligent young man whose only disability was that he could not walk, but who had been living in a very unsuitable mental institution. He was soon joined by Liena, Greesha and Sveta and with the support of four excellent carers, they all caught up on some of the education they missed when living in institutions and have learned to cook and look after their home.

The Social Protection Department was very supportive from the start, and they encouraged other regional authorities in Belarus to look for foreign partners who could help to create something similar, using Klimovka as a model. As a result, a home for eight young people with disabilities was soon established at Rechitsa with funding from an Irish charity.

At the end of 2022 the building was needed once again by the Education Department and our young people had to leave their home. This was a great blow to them, and they were very anxious about their future. But they are now living in ‘Kapatkevichi’ where they have been made very welcome by the Director, the staff and the residents, and they are making new friends.

You can learn more about our family home at Klimovka here: Family Home 2000. This was written in 2016.