Program Updates | Belarus

Speeches Shim

April 7, 2020

Elena Demidova, the Belarusian founder and head of the Center for Active Ageing  was a government official before switching her career to social entrepreneurship after participating in USAID’s Community Connections program (ComCon) in the United States in 2017. The ComCon program annually provides approximately 60 Belarusian professionals an opportunity to visit the United States to exchange best practices in their field and learn about the life and culture of Americans.

April 7, 2020

After four years of hard work and collaboration, a Belarusian professor turned her vision into a reality by launching the first International Festival of Mediation in Belarus. Since its creation in 2016, the Festival has grown to include more than 500 participants from different countries who gather to discuss current issues in mediation development, share experiences, and establish professional connections for project collaboration.

April 7, 2020

In 2015, Oksana was inspired to transform her company into a social enterprise. While her children’s toy production business had already incorporated some corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles into its work culture, she wanted to significantly expand its mission. As part of USAID’s Community Connections exchange program, Shevchenko went to Raleigh, North Carolina, to learn about American best practices surrounding social entrepreneurship development. It was only after her visit to the United States that Shevchenko felt empowered to apply the experiences and examples of U.S. social enterprises to her own business in Belarus.

January 16, 2020

As an infant, doctors diagnosed Pavel with cerebral palsy, which made it impossible for him to attend kindergarten. Instead, Pavel, who was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1988, stayed at home where his mother and grandmother took care of him while his father worked as a metal worker to support the family. Like other children with disabilities, he completed a boarding school for children with special needs.

December 20, 2019

Any small- and medium-sized enterprise owner dreams of dynamic business growth and expansion, while inevitably dealing with the realities of adequate financing. Shparkiya Vilki, a food delivery service in Belarus, faced this challenge during their start-up stage.

The company, whose name means “Fast Forks” in Belarusian, was launched by Alfred Service in February 2016 with just three team members. The business grew rapidly with a steep rise in delivery and catering orders, but, to meet high customer demand, it needed a professional convection oven.