“We choose health!” Belarusians actively implement mini-projects on healthy lifestyle

At a press conference held at the end of June at the National Press Center, the participants of the joint project of the Belarus and Swiss Red Cross “Community involvement in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle” and representatives of the Ministry of Health of Belarus shared why the project is actively supported by residents of small towns and villages and what progress has been achieved today.

The press conference was opened by Lyudmila Naroychik, deputy chief doctor of the Republican Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, which is one of the leading partners of the project. Lyudmila Naroychik marked-to-date model of health in Belarus and the importance of working together in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

– Now there is very actual social model of health, which includes the level of culture , education, environment, income and quality of life. Therefore, only by working together we can address the issues related to health. And this should involve not only the public administration bodies, public organizations, but the people themselves, – said Lyudmila Naroychik.

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Ludmila Naroichik

Next, the project coordinator, Tatyana Svetlovich, told reporters about the work done within the project and further plans for its development in Belarus.

– The project started in 2014, and during this time were created and now actively working fourteen initiative groups from the residents of local communities in Vitebsk, Grodno and Mogilev regions, – commented Tatiana Svetlovich. – With the project we want to help the people of our country, especially in small towns and villages, not only to change their quality of life, but also increase their responsibility for their own health.

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Tatyana Svetlovich

Members of initiative groups – active people keen on a healthy way of life and ready to help others change their attitude towards health. Members have been trained on the prevention of noncommunicable diseases and now implement activities aimed at improving health, as well as attract the relatives, friends, colleagues.

In Polotsk, Senno, Bahusheusk, Ashmyany, Slonim, Gorki and Zelenkovskaya, Hodtsevskogo, Golshanskiy, Zhupranskogo, Zhirovichsky villages and Pavlovsk village councils, initiative groups develop different types of exercise – yoga, fitness, breathing exercises, Nordic walking, dance sport, hiking and biking tours, conduct public education on prevention of non-communicable diseases, as well as working on the implementation of their mini-projects to create the conditions for a healthy lifestyle – equipment places for physical exercise and outdoor activities, as well as the promotion of a healthy diet.
At the press conference, representatives of several initiative groups shared with reporters why the inhabitants of the settlements have supported the project, and what initiatives they are working together to implement. Maria Koshko, chairman of the Pavlovsky village council, and at the same time the leader of the initiative group “Zhyvitsa”, performed on behalf of the initiative group.

– Thanks to the project, people in the villages have the opportunity to diversify their life, to change their behavior towards a healthy lifestyle, – said Maria. – It is a misconception that the villager does not need anything except for agriculture. You should have seen the enthusiasm with which people join our group and help realize our ideas! Together we are now working on the development of the places to practice Nordic walking, fitness and development of team sports.

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Maria Koshko

In Senno a platform for yoga and fitness facilities will be open soon. This was reported by Alexander Meltsina, a representative of the initiative group “Rainbow”.

 – Our group has shown by example that you can live interesting and fun without alcohol and cigarettes – shared Alexander Meltsina. – But most importantly – not only members of the group, but also the inhabitants of Senno change for the better.

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Alexandra Meltsina

Lyudmila Kravtsova, leader of the local initiative group ” Novoshag “, told about the project in Gorki and about the initiatives that were implemented in the city.

 – We have focused on Nordic walking, – said Lyudmila Kravtsova. – The group started with five people, and today we have – over seventy. The youngest member of the group is 9 years old. And soon we are going to open ecological path “Beauty of Gorki Region”, where residents and visitors will have the opportunity to be engaged in Nordic walking and get acquainted with the history and nature of the Gorki Region.

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With the financial support of the Swiss Red Cross, HLS mini- projects will be implemented in other towns of Belarus. In Polotsk for all residents of the city under the leadership of the initiative group “The path to the top” will operate a mobile club “HLS – landing”.

On the basis of the local medical college under the direction of the initiative group “Everest” for colleges and schools of the city will be equipped “Territory of Health” – a special diagnostic fitness room where young people will be able to assess their level of physical health, to obtain the necessary information about the various types of fitness, sets of exercises, start exercising and get support from specially trained volunteers.

In Zhirovichi village council will be created “Routes of Health” with single, double and multi-day hikes, including the use of bicycles and kayaks. In Bahusheusk and Golshanskiy village council initiative groups organized infrastructure for cycling: cycling trails, bike rental, as well as the installation of bikes. And in Ashmyany will work the room of healthy diet based on the Center for Children and Adolescents.

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