Resource center of arts and crafts opened in a small village in Belarus to drive local development


The resource center in the village of Kurshinovichi was equipped with the financial support of the European Union. It provides the conditions for the development of informal training programs, crafts, and serves as a local business consulting hub.

"We, citizens of Kurshinovihi village, were left to ourselves. We do not have large enterprises here, there are no large collective farms, we lack opportunities for employment. It’s unproductive to rely on local authorities only to address these challenges, that's why we created this resource center, which will help our village develop," - said Valery Yasevich, the head of the local initiative "Support to the business initiative of local community based on the cultivation of folk art and the revival of traditional crafts."

"Our institution received financial support from the European Union in the amount of 26,5 thousand euros. With these funds, we have equipped a resource center, where everyone can learn various crafts absolutely free of charge and exhibit their works. Local craftsmen are already participating in the exhibition today."

There are exhibition halls, workshops and classrooms with modern interactive equipment set up in the center. During the opening ceremony, the workshops on weaving, making dolls from flax and yarn, drawing on wooden saw cuts were held. These were the first workshops organized in the center. It is planned that the choice of crafts available to learn in the resource center will expand 2-3 times more.

"We are happy to support this initiative, your interest in territorial development, and in your own life, which you are already demonstrating," said Natalia Stasevich, the European Union Projects Coordinator, in her welcoming speech. "We invite all of you to participate in other projects and programs financed by the European Union in the Republic of Belarus".

The opening of the center was attended by the representatives of the Lyakhovichi district executive committee, as well as the chairmen of the Goncharovsky and Krivoshinsky village councils of the Lyakhovichi district.

Diana Tristen, deputy chairman of the Lyakhovichi district executive committee, stressed the need for cooperation between local communities and the authorities:

"The process of elaborating a strategy for regional development, including our Lyakhovichi district, is impossible without citizen engagement, civil society organizations and entrepreneurs. Local and state authorities should have an opportunity to count on them," concluded Diana Tristen.

Olga Atroshchenko, the United Nations Development Programme Projects Coordinator, praised the efforts of the head of the initiative and the local community for their contribution to the development of the district.

"Such initiatives as this, through the development of creativity and entrepreneurship, through the active participation of local people, help to ensure that the community is united. We hope that this resource center will be an excellent example of local development and a model for multiplication for other regions," - stressed Olga Atroshchenko.

The initiative was implemented within the framework of the project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus", which is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.

The project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus" aims at combining efforts and establishing partnerships between authorities and civil society to develop regions according to their specific requirements. The project is funded by the European Union (budget € 5,400,000) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.

UNDP Press Office

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