Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA” is a voluntary union of 28 youth associations, being created with the purpose of consolidating of youth organizations and initiatives of Belarus. “RADA” operates in the areas of representation, promotion and defending common interests and freedoms of youth organizations and young people of Belarus.
Unfortunately, because of the political situation in the country and restrictions imposed by the state on the freedom of association, the Belarusian National Youth Council was liquidated in 2006 by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. Since then RADA has been operating underground as many other youth organizations and activists repressed by the authorities. In 2014, RADA registered a technical office “Baltarusių nacionalinė jaunimo taryba “Rada”, VšĮ in Lithuania in order to provide legal safety and to make its work more transparent. Regardless the unfavorable conditions created for the civil society organizations in the country, RADA continues its work for the benefit of the Belarusian youth and Belarus.
RADA pursues to the following objectives:
- Contribute to sustainable development of RADA’s member organizations through educational programs and collaborative work;
- Increase capacity of the member organizations and RADA in research work on youth issues, advocacy and lobbying for youth rights, youth participation in developing youth policy and strengthening the role of the youth civil society organizations in the political life of Belarus;
- Provide information on youth issues and youth rights at local, national, European and international levels;
- Strengthen cooperation between the Belarusian youth civil society organizations and European structures and international organizations;
- Enhance the sustainability of democratic structures of RADA and improved management capabilities.
In between the General Assemblies of RADA, the operation of the Youth Council is coordinated by the Board, composed of elected representatives of the member organizations of RADA.
The Board of RADA
Currently, Marharyta Vorykhava (firstname.lastname@example.org), a representative of EYP Belarus, presides in the Board of RADA and works jointly with the other Board members and the Secretariat of RADA.
Board members are Volha Pupkevich (Civil Forum, email@example.com), Darya Rublevskaya (Belarusian Students Association, firstname.lastname@example.org), Sofia Terentyeva (Closet Free, email@example.com), Hanna Ivashkevich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Secretariat of RADA
The Secretariat of RADA is an executive body of the organization, which ensures realization of RADA’s program activities.
About member organizations
The first thing that the Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA” implies is youth organizations. When “RADA” was liquidated by the ruling of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus in 2006, some organizations left our union. However, many stayed despite the threat of their own liquidation.
Twenty two youth organizations are currently listed as member organizations of “RADA”.
The list of member organizations has been kept private since 2006 for security reasons, and it is up to organizations to decide whether to make the fact of their membership in “RADA” public.
Regional development agency”Dzedzich” was formed in November 1999 by students of BrSU.
Dzedzich’s mission: based on the principles of patriotism and respect for the Belarusian culture, striving for the democratization of the country and self-improvement of the organization’s members, to increase the civic activity of the youth of the Brest region by conducting educational programs, mass events and resource support for youth public initiatives.
ABF – organization of modern public education. The basis of public education in the ABF is made up of educational, or in another way – “Swedish” circles.
The organization also conducts educational events, workshops, trainings, etc.
ABF values and principles are freedom, solidarity, equality of rights and opportunities, social justice and tolerance.
CLOSET FREE is a queer-themed social initiative aimed at the cultural and educational development of the city of Vitebsk.
The main goal is to create a comfortable space for communication, where everyone can be themselves and find like-minded people. The initiative holds various events: film screenings, lectures, workshops, etc. the topics they cover are sexuality, gender identity, feminism, human rights, etc.
“Red borschevik” – one of the queer art workshops Makeout – a group of artists working at the intersection of performance and actionism. The foundation date is 2018.
“Red borschevik” works with various art languages: performances, promotions, installations, embroidery, collages; with various themes: feminism, discrimination, violence, burnout, LGBT+, homelessness, physicality, sexuality, etc.
Belarusian Students’ Association (BSA) is the oldest youth organization in Belarus. We began our work in late 1980s when the non-mainstream youth from the Belarusian State University, The Pedagogics Institute and the Medical University got together to rock the dull Soviet student life.
BSA organized campaigns against ideologization of education; it conducted protest actions against having the History of the Communist Party as a separate subject within the study curriculum. In 1989 the organization launched the “Students’ Thought” newspaper that later turned into a magazine and, in 1999, into a separate publication.
www.studenty.by – a web portal created by BSA in 2001 – soon became www.generation.by and is now one of the most popular youth-oriented web resources in Belarus.
BSA is a full member of the European Students’ Union – a large umbrella organization that connects 45 national students’ councils from 38 countries.
We tackle studentship problems through a combination of approaches and aim our work at promoting civic activism in students, at strengthening their intellectual and cultural potential.
BSA defends rights and interests of students and tries to take the maximum effort in reforming the Belarusian system of education, in improving its efficiency.
Within the two decades of our work, we have implemented dozens of projects related to culture, non-formal education and human rights. We have enough ideas to implement many more. Joining us is easy – just write an email to us.
“Ecohome” is a public association that encourages ecological living and promotes sustainable development. We are seeking balance between environment and civilization, and would like to have a better understanding of the world and our place in it.
“Ecohome” promotes organic farming and permaculture (agriculture based on mutual bonds observed in natural ecosystems) in Belarus, it addresses questions of ecotecture and green construction, it monitors application of the Aarhus Convention in Belarus and stands for making state policies anti-nuclear.
The main project of “Ecohome” is to create an educational center that will allow conducting seminars, courses and summer camps for children and the youth.
“Ecohome” is always open to cooperation with NGOs, developers, farmers, environmentalists and eco-activists, educators, children and adults – all who aspire for harmony with environment.
“Students’ Rada” was launched in March 2008 as an initiative of students from various educational institutions in Minsk in response to continuous violations of rights and freedoms of Belarusian students.
Many students know “Students’ Rada” as an organization they can rely on when their universities exercise authority against them or violate their rights. Since the very first days of our work, we have been successful in rendering legal services and consultations to students of Belarusian higher education institutions, in explaining laws to them and in helping them obtain justice.
“Students’ Rada”, however, does not focus around one area of interest. We investigate the status of students in Belarus, monitor situation with students’ rights and freedoms, implement awareness-raising campaigns and educational activities.
We believe that the work of “Students’ Rada” adds to shaping new generations of students who fully participate in educational processes, are active in society and exercise critical thinking. These students know the meaning of solidarity and strive for freedom and happiness, they identify themselves as part of the students’ community and prioritize obtaining knowledge among their values.
Young Christian Democrats is a youth group of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party. YCD unites active young people that are passionate to see Belarus an independent, democratic and rule-of-law state built around Christian values.
Young Christian Democrats propagate popular sovereignty: the people is the only source of power, the power is exercised by free elections.
We are certain that domestic politics in Belarus should be built around the policies of national interests.
YCD promotes de-ideologization of all public institutions: family, army, the law-enforcement, education system.
We have developed a compound public plan on reforming polity of the Belarusian state and society in order to achieve YCD’s main goal – and that is the moral and spiritual, national, political and economic rejuvenation of Belarus.
Young Social Democrats “Maladaya Hramada”. They are young, educated, and ambitious. They think to-day, devoid of radicalism that is often characteristic of the authorities, as well as of the opposition.
They realize that acting without the background of knowledge is the first step to failure. Therefore, they constantly learn and adopt experience of other developed countries to be implemented in Belarus.
“Maladaya Hramada” are realists. They understand that it is impossible to build a free and highly-developed society within a week or a year. Therefore, they find it most important to create a community of young people who share their aspirations. They wish to form youth civil society by through social partnership.
They are the leftists. Freedom, equality and solidarity – this is about them.
Civil Forum – is the unique non-state officially operating youth organization in Belarus. Our organization acts in order to raise the civil activity of young people and encourage them to be socially and politically involved. The organization was founded in 1996. In 1999 Civil Forum won Margaret Tatcher’s award as the best youth democratic organization in Europe.
Members of Civil Forum active participate in electoral process in own country. They participated as candidates and observers on general (2013, 2016) and local (2014, 2018) elections in Belarus. They participated in international observation missions on general elections and elections in European parliament in Norway, Sweden and Lithuania, observation missions on general elections in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and oth.
From 2018 till 2020 Civil Forum will be co-organizer of the biggest NGO-forum in Eastern Europe – Media Bar Camp.
The organisation have great experience European international projects in the field of interaction with Erasmus+ programme, International Federation of Liberal Youth, Liberal Youth of Europe, European Minority Youth Network, New Media Foundation and oth. It proves that development active inclusion belarussian youth in European international projects is one of the main aims for Civil Forum.
The main activities for youth in work of Civil Forum are:
– development and sharing of non-formal education during local seminars and discussions on the national level (Summer Camp “Freedom Хутор”, urban cultural trainings, the 10-years project on the topic of “Development of non-formal education” in cooperation with Norwegian Unge Venstr);
– creation of local initiatives (urban festivals, street-art projects, public discussions) such us “Mogilev street art yard”, Historical graffiti festival;
– international cooperation with European Minority Youth Network, IFLRY, LYMEC in the projects aimed for the development of civil society and democratic valuables in Belarus and Europe;
– promoting liberal and democratic ideas among youth (with seminars, debates, conferences). Civil Forum permanently acts in order to raise of civil activity of young people. Members of Civil Forum active participate in electoral process in own country and in international observation missions;
– active participation in creation of multicultural trainings and seminars on the national (“Multiculturalism and tolerance” project during 2015-2016) and international (Erasmus+ projects – “Art Act Together 2” (Italy, 2014), “Let’s Say We are the Future” (Austria 2017), “National minorities – European Wealth” (Poland 2017), Think global Grow local (2018) and oth.) level.
Youth public organization “Youth initiative“ is engaged in the implementation of public initiatives in the field of youth policy, non-formal education, cultural diplomacy, which, among other things, are aimed at strengthening the international authority of Belarus, promoting constructive dialogue with leading foreign countries.
In 2015, the first youth training program of the European Commission “Erasmus+” was held in Minsk together with Italian partners. In April 2015 “Youth initiative” founded the public initiative “Minsk Shaper hub”, which is directly connected and is one of the structural units of the youth wing of the world economic forum in Belarus.
In 2018, the Minsk hub in partnership with “Youth initiative” entered the top five winners of the WeSeeEqual competition and was awarded a grant from the world economic forum and Procter & Gamble for the implementation of a project aimed at promoting gender equality in Belarus.
The Brest cultural and educational initiative “Grunt” is an association of people who believe in Belarus as an independent, culturally self-sufficient European country. The future of which depends solely on the will and activity of its citizens.
Now works in the format of a Crowdfunding cafe “Грунтоўня” – a creative space where you can hold cultural and social events.
The center for the development of effective communication “Human Library”
The mission of the organization is to develop a society based on the principles of equality, inclusion, non-discrimination and tolerance through effective communication between different social groups and increase their visibility.
The main activities of the organization are:
- development of critical thinking among young people through the use of methods of non-formal education (Live Library, sincere conversations, social games, trainings, lectures, etc.);
- increasing the availability of spaces and activities for a wide range of marginalized (vulnerable) groups (in 2018, a pilot monitoring of the availability of public spaces in Minsk for various vulnerable groups was conducted);
- changing the attitudes of society and improving the position of marginalized (vulnerable) groups in society by increasing the visibility of their representatives and representatives, their problems, interests and successes in the public space.
Regional public Associatioя “Gomel Association of children and youth” ASDEMA, based on democratic values and principles of open activity and voluntary participation, activates youth aspirations, initiatives and activities in various aspects of society through organizational and material assistance, information, training, seminars, concerts, festivals, conferences on important aspects of society (human rights, the environment, employment, migration, HIV and AIDS problems), organization of health improvement and international youth exchange.
Vitebsk4Me is an open platform dedicated to Vitebsk city culture.
“Vitebsk for me” is first of all Vitebsk for you! The team helps young musicians, journalists, artists, photographers, writers, researchers to realize themselves, because only with your participation the city of Vitebsk becomes a real cultural center of Belarus.
The Brest youth initiative “Oasis” is not indifferent youth and students of Brest, who activate the Brest youth to solve their own problems, as well as problems of ecology and Belarusian culture through educational seminars, joint pastime with meaning and other cultural events.
The public association “Center for information support of public initiatives “Third sector” was registered in 1997.
The mission of the organization is to develop public activity in various circles of the Population through information and educational support for democratic public initiatives.
Young Democrats is a youth organization of the United civic party, founded in 2007. The mission of Young Democrats is to develop civil society and democratic institutions in the country by increasing the participation of young people in the political, economic and social spheres of public life.
The organization implements its goals and objectives through holding round tables to discuss issues, conferences, seminars, trainings, street actions, publishing and distributing printed materials, publishing in electronic media, and participating in election campaigns.
The Brest youth public association “Earth Time” helps the initiatives of Brest and the Brest region to solve environmental problems by participating in the implementation of the concept” Brest – city – Park”, monitoring violations of environmental legislation, public campaigns, projects and other events.
“Earth Time” is an active citizen of the Brest region, United by one common idea-protection and improvement of the environment and preservation of the natural potential of Belarus. The activity is aimed at popularizing the “green” movement, preserving and developing green zones in urban and rural areas, and solving specific environmental problems.
Public association “Educational center POST” is an organization that implements activities in the field of non-formal education. The purpose of the Center is to promote human development as a subject of personal educational activities by organizing and implementing various educational projects and programs.
The organization’s mission is to develop individual autonomy and social competence of the individual.
The goal of the POST Center is to promote human development as a subject of personal educational activity by organizing and implementing various educational projects and programs.