Awareness raising campaign in Belarus
Within the framework of our successful Eastern Europe project “Saving Animals With Computers”, which provides universities with non-animal teaching materials, we supported a project to educate students in Belarus.
As a successor state to the Soviet Union, animals and animal welfare have never played a role in Belarus. Unlike e.g. in Ukraine, there is still no law regulating animal experiments in any form. There are not even statistics on animal use in research and education, as nobody collects them. Even cosmetic animal experiments are said to be still standard here. Only very slowly ethical and scientific concerns are arising.
The only NGO in Belarus dedicated to humane methods in research and teaching is the Center for Ethical Attitude Towards Nature (Ecoetika). According to chairman Ludmila Loginovskaya in the last 13 years Ecoetika has managed to replace the mandatory animal use in the study of medicine, veterinary medicine, biology and other disciplines at half of the university departments with non-animal materials. A great success made possible by the cooperation with the International Network for Humane Education - InterNICHE. We also participated in 3 of the university projects and provided software and hardware.
These successes must not obscure the fact that there is complete ignorance of animal experiments and non-animal methods within the public. In order to address this, Ecoetika planned an awareness raising campaign with a focus on schools. We support the project financially.
According to Ludmila's report, 54 schools were involved. They were provided with educational material and teachers received training. 109 students took part in an online quiz and in a competition, 80 students submitted creative works such as posters, stories, poetry or illustrations. The project also generated 26 media reports.
On May 18, 2019, the award ceremony for the winners of the quiz and the creative competition took place at the Belarus National Technical University in Minsk. The pupils and teachers received certificates and prizes. The speakers included our Ukrainian project partner Dimitriy Leporskij. We are glad that in this Eastern European country we helped sprouting shoots for the scientists of tomorrow.
Winners of the quiz and creative competition.
Dimitrij Leprskij (r.) hands over prizes.
Overview of the whole project (in German) >>