Location and demographics
Malotkavichy is a village of just over one thousand people. The people of the village are strong, proud people. Residents of the village live in either small houses, or apartment blocks. The standard of accommodation is at times very poor compared to our standards within the UK. There is a reason we work with this village, there is need. We have been located here for many years, and we shall continue to work in the area for many years to come. We have devloped a deep connection and we shall continue to enchance a deep partnership with the area in the years to come. We feel very honoured to work with our friends towards a better future for the children of the region.
The old soviet era apartment blocks consist of one or two room apartments with shared washing facilities. The washroom is often shared with every other apartment on the same floor, as many as eleven other apartments. Some apartments do not having running water and collect water from the wash room in vats. Heating is controlled by the administration, it will be on in the winter and off in the summer with no in-between. The accommodation visited by the CCLL often has pest problems and are in a poor state of repair.
The houses in the village are often of a better standard with more space, but still below the standard we enjoy in the UK. Houses sometimes have a plot of land that offers the opportunity to use the land for growing produce. In both apartments and houses, it is very common to have multiple generations of a family living together. This means small areas of personal space for each person sharing. Getting on the property ladder in Belarus is extremely hard.
Too often, we come across malnutrition. Some families are very poor and struggle to make ends meet. In some families, addiction to alcohol is a primary cause of a depleted income and a lack of food. In some cases the malnutrition has been so severe it has led to underdevelopment of a child.
Malotkavichy is located in the southern region of the country, Brest Oblast and is just to the west of Pinsk, a medium sized city (see below).
School and community
The school is at the centre of the community. With a lack of facilities and venues outside of the school, the children spend much of their time there and partake in many after-school events. Music and dance are both very important school activities. The school lacks facilities in other departments however, especially those which are costly. Modern computers are not present and sports facilities are quite dated. The building itself is in disrepair. While the school has issues, mostly stemming from a lack of finance, there is an extremely dedicated and loving staff team of teachers and volunteers which support the children of the village. We feel honoured to know these wonderful people, never do we look down on them, we often wish our own communities could have such a spirit, what a world we would live in if we had the best of both worlds.
Malotkavichy is a tight-knit community which works closely with each other and rallies around each to support those in need. We are always humbled to work so closely with our friends and volunteers within the village who help us facilitate the visits each year. We are one team, with our volunteers both local to Newark and Sherwood and in Malotkavichy who come together to provide a heartfelt experience to the children within their community.
The children we have hosted during our work are generally well-mannered and well-behaved. For the majority of our children, it is not a lack of community or care, but a lack of opportunity and experience that potentially stops their progress in life. We are thrilled to offer the children of Malotkavichy the experience of visiting the UK along with all the benefits it brings. They deserve even more than what we are able to offer, but at the very least our support shows them that someone out there cares for them and that the bridges built between our communities are worth maintaining. We are looking to increase our level of partnership with the area, to offer meaningful change all year round, we have placed the building blocks and will work hard towards lasting change.
Below are images of houses in Malotkavichy.