Volunteering in Belarus

Brightening the lives of disabled children or young adults from an institution

Every summer between 1998 and 2019 we took children and young adults with disabilities from Zhuravichi and Rechitsa Institutions in Belarus to Ptich Sanatorium. A sanatorium is a kind of holiday camp and health spa where visitors can also receive health treatments.

In recent years we were also able to send a few adults from Vikov institution for a sanatorium holiday.

Each of those summers, we flew teams of volunteers from Britain to make sure that the children and young adults had a wonderful holiday. organising all sorts of fun and games to make their holiday one that they would never forget.

This short video was made by Alina Isachenka during one of the holidays at Ptich. You can also take a look at this photobook which has lots of lovely photos taken by some of our volunteers over the years along with their thoughts about the effects that the experience has had on them (you will need to be using a computer rather than a mobile phone to view the photobook). One of our recent volunteers, Neil, has written an amusing and very informative blog about his experience of volunteering at Ptich, which is well worth a read.                                                        

Some of our more experienced volunteers used to go to Zhuravichi and Rechitsa Institutions instead of to the sanatorium, they spent time with the children and young people who were not able to go on holiday and made sure they had a happy summer too.

These volunteers also visited Vikov, an institution for adults with psychological disorders. Many of the residents here are quite elderly and some have dementia and, while some enjoy all the same sorts of activities, others simply appreciate the company of someone who’ll sit and listen to their stories.

One of our recent volunteers, Ellen, has written a very moving blog about her experience volunteering at Zhuravichi and Vikov.

Unfortunately, the ongoing war in Ukraine has prevented the planning of any further volunteering trips to Belarus.

Messages from volunteers