Because of the problems I had with the administration in the Cherven District Education Department in 2011 it seems that now maybe the right time to change the location for the main part of the volunteering project, however I am extreamly grateful for all the help that has been generally given by the Education Department at Cherven over many years and still hope that we will be able to send some volunteers to the Smilovichi Orphanage, but to be honest it is not suitable for the large groups we had during July and August in 2011.
So it is posible that during the summer months we will use a larger Summer Camp at Radoshkovichi and a Kindergarten at Chist, both of which I have checked out and think would be very suitable making more sense than trying to work round the difficulties at Smilovichi and Cherven.
It will also be possible for some of the volunteers to work more closely with children who are disabled and others who need more "hands on" care, which was requested by some who went in 2011.
UPDATED IN 2012
After some friendly negotiations with the management of the Belarusian state run Horizont organisation who own and run the Recreation Camp at Radoshkovichi we agreed terms and signed a contract to allow us to send our volunteers to the camp this summer 2012.
So on the 20th and 22nd July 14 young volunteers arrived at the Horizont Camp for two weeks of working with children with special needs and also for some excursions in the Minsk Region to see something of the life and history of Belarus. The weather was hot and as the camp has a large lake next door a lot of time was spent swimming and picnicing during the volunteers free time.
As this was the first time that foreigners had stayed in the camp there was a certain amount of interest and questions as to why we were there, but after a little time the children and staff understood and from then on the volunteers became part of the normal running of things and the children enjoyed the new experience.
Our three charity helpers, Anton and Liza led by Matvey did a wonderful job making sure that the volunteers got all the help they needed.
Peter our charity director was staying in nearby Chist and controling things from there as well as driving the nine seater minibus, our new junior helper Ilya also gave wonderful support to him for the whole of his seven week stay.