Supporting Children Together (SCT) is our main partner organisation in Belarus and they administer all of our projects in the country, most of which are in the Gomel region. The SCT office, with four permanent staff, is located in the city of Gomel itself. As well as the office staff, SCT employs almost 30 other staff at various institutions across the Gomel region on a full or part-time basis. These include project coordinators, doctors, nurses, special needs teachers, psychologists, social workers and drivers.
Natalia Samoilik is Director of Supporting Children Together (SCT), our main partner organisation in Belarus. SCT are based in Gomel and facilitate all of our projects in the region. Natalia, with her background working in education and social services, has the ideal skills and experience for this role.
Larisa has been SCT’s accountant since 2010 and is dedicated to getting us the best possible deal on everything we buy.
Ira spends two days a week in the SCT office helping with the paperwork associated with all of the projects. She spends the other three days working at the Mayflower respite centre helping to teach the children ICT skills.
Elena’s former role as Head of Special Needs and Fostering for the Regional Department of Social Protection gives her the ideal skills and experience in her current role as Project Coordinator for SCT, where she leads projects in childcare and fostering and also delivers training in these areas.
Galina has been a key member of staff for many years and, as well as assisting Elina with the coordination of our projects, she was appointed Chairman of the SCT Management Board in October 2018.
Children in Trouble was set up soon after the Chernobyl accident by the parents of children with cancer. Evgeny Ukraintsev (left) was Director of the charity for over 20 years until he retired in 2018 when Vera Gakova (right) took over. We brought our first children for a recuperative holiday through Children in Trouble in 1996 and since then have brought hundreds of children in remission from cancer for holidays; sent humanitarian aid for families; provided medicines and other support for the Children’s Cancer Hospital; and given financial support to the association. In the last two years we have supported Nastya Serhunina to work in the office and help to organise the children’s holidays. The picture with Evgeny and Nastya is taken outside the Children’s Cancer Hospital where Evgeny managed to find funding to set up 20 small houses to provide extra accommodation for families during treatment.
The Belarusian Children’s Hospice was established in 1995 by Anna Gorchakova, who had worked as a clinical psychologist in the Children’s Cancer Hospital. We started supporting the work of the Hospice in 1999, particularly bringing hospice staff on educational visits to the UK. Anna has recently completed and opened a fabulous Republican Children’s Palliative Care Centre, the first of its kind in Eastern Europe. She continues to run the Children’s Hospice, which mostly provides home care, from the new Centre.
Since 2000 we have funded a team in Gomel who provide regular home visits to over 30 families with palliative children. The Health Department in Gomel now funds much of the work of the hospice team, but we still provide additional support and transport