The 7th annual rally of Belarusian youth studying abroad took place in Lithuania from the 28th of August till the 1st of September. Every year since 2007, during the last days of summer, informal Belarusian community “United Students of Belarus” (USB) meets in Lithuania where they share their experience, achievements and plan their future activities.
The Eastern Europe Studies Centre has been organising rallies of Belarusian students studying all over the world for seven consecutive years. The main topic of the “USB Rally 2013” was leadership.
This year, 45 participants from 8 countries (Belarus, Poland, Russia, Italy, the United States, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark) took part in the rally. The rally started on 28th of August at the Eastern Europe Studies Centre with the official opening ceremony, during which the participants were greeted by the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Mr. Andrius Krivas, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania Mrs. Séadhna Rose MacHugh and the Deputy Head of Mission of Poland in Lithuania Maria Malgorzata Ślebioda. After the official opening ceremony in Vilnius the participants moved to Jovariškės, where they were playing introduction games and performing Lithuanian and Belarusian national dances. The next morning intensive trainings on the leadership, conducted by the experiential learning and respectful counseling experts “Kitokie projektai”, began. The trainings lasted for two days. The programme was concluded by the lecture on the Art of Oratory, which was given by prof. Lauras Bielinis, lecturer of the Vytautas Magnus University and specialist of oratory.
On the 31th of August, the participants got back to Vilnius, where they took part in the founding meeting of “Global Belarusian Leaders”, which was held in Vilnius Town Hall. The guests of the event were greeted by the Vice-Rector of the European Humanities University Darius Udrys, the Director of “Global Lithuanian Leaders” Dalia Venslovaitė–Petkevičienė, famous Belarusian poet Valeryna Kustava and other respectable guests. Newly founded organization aims at creating a network of successful professionals, stimulating development of European perspectives within Belarusian society and strengthening the country’s image internationally.
“Each year USB rallies are remarkable due to the enthusiasm and initiative of Belarusian students and their ability to generate new ideas. Therefore, it is not surprising that this event encouraged consolidation of the international community of Belarusians and improvement of Belarus image around the world. The Eastern Europe Studies Centre is very happy that the community of USB created such an initiative as “Global Belarusian Leaders”. We hope that future USB rallies will also encourage talented and active people to create new initiatives”, Kristina Vaičiūnaitė, the Director of the Eastern Europe Studies Centre”, said.
The main aim of the USB Rallies is to help Belarusian students, studying all over the world, to strengthen their relations, to inspire social activeness of young people, to encourage them building a strong community. EESC believes that USB participants should not only share their experiences, but also co-operate while realizing their ambitions. The organizers hope that Belarusian students will remain active members of the civic society even while living abroad and will encourage other Belarusians (residing both in Belarus and abroad) to pay more attention to the problems of Belarus and their solutions.