On May 4, on the initiative of the Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels), the United World College of the Adriatic (Triest, Italy) organized an information evening dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. The presentation was held in the framework of extra curriculum student activities called Focus.
The United World Colleges is a unique net of educational establishments founded in the UK in 1962. The main goal is to promote peace through understanding among young people from all over the World.
Belarus is represented in the organization since 1994. Until today, more than 40 students from the country got a chance to get UWC scholarship. Currently, Belarusian students are studying in Norway, Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, the college is planning to found a special scholarship for Belarusian students coming from the Chernobyl area. In view of the college administration, this will strengthen the environmental aspect of education.
During the discussion on May 4 such issues were raised as the scale of the catastrophe, the Soviet government’s policy concerning the disaster in the first days after the explosion, current situation in Belarus regarding the environmental issue and public heath, situation with the liquidators (the servicemen and civilian emergency workers involved in containing the disaster and subsequent clean-up operations). Attention was paid to the international coverage of Chernobyl problem. In this context, suggestion of the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament to annually organize hearing on Chernobyl was mentioned and highly welcomed.
The students and professors were particularly interested in the Belarusian government’s policy on how to deal with the consequences of the disaster and how to protect the people living in the contaminated area.
After the discussion, guests of the event had a possibility to see a documentary by Galina Adamovich “Once upon a time”, which helped to look at the issue from a more philosophical point of view.