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After such a long break due to COVID restrictions, our director Liam O’Meara finally made it to Belarus.
And of course, we are all so happy to have him back. But more than that we were happy to speak to him about the Pandemic era, hopes and plans.
How does it feel to be back to Belarus after such a long Covid break?
It is almost strange to be back but it is great to be back. Travelling back after such a long time away was an odd experience with the need for vaccinations and pcr results. But it is worth it all just to be here. I half expected to be stopped somewhere along the journey due to Covid restrictions but I got here.
Has the situation dramatically influenced the way people think about charity and donations and especially about helping outside Ireland?
Our People have been very concerned all through 2020 about how our friends in Belarus were coping with the pandemic. There was genuine fear that some of the children and adults might be infected and not survive. Luckily the situation has improved greatly in Ireland due to strong measures. The fear now is that everyone in Belarus might think the worst is over and get careless about taking the proper precautions to prevent the virus spreading and that the new variants may be worse than expected. Vaccinations must increase here. Why are many people not wearing masks in public? In terms of donations it was impossible to organise any public fund-raising events in Ireland during our nationwide lockdown so everything had to be done online. We are grateful to those who continue to support BCP.
Do many people think of coming back to volunteer in Belarusian institutions?
Yes we have some people just waiting for the chance to volunteer again but there is a great deal of caution as people watch to see how things will develop over the summer of 2021.
What's the major news and plans of BCP for the rest of the year and next year?
I hope to visit the orphanages while I am in Belarus and to see how we can help. I also want to let all the children and adults there know that we haven’t forgotten them in any way but are eager to return and be with them again. I think that is the most important thing I can do for now.
And we are very grateful to all our Irish friends and can't wait to see them again soon!