How to dismantle corrupted ideas that dominate Belarusian society?


Since 2011 Belarusian youth has been offered a chance to go studying at universities across Europe. In total 300 scholarships have been granted as part of the OESS and ESSYB higher education programmes funded by the European Union. Katsiaryna Maslakova is one of the students who received a scholarship from the ESSYB programme.

Katsiaryna studied in Spain at Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals. Here she obtained a master’s degree in International Relations. In 2015 she came back to Belarus and began her career as a project manager of various initiatives.

Today she works as a project manager in a Belarusian civil society organisation called Local Foundation for Promotion of International Dialogue and Cooperation “Interakcia”.

Recently, with the help of the ESSYB programme Katsiaryna Maslakova organised a project called “Dismantling corrupted ideas that dominate Belarusian society”.  According to Katsiaryna, recent surveys in Belarus have shown that there are a lot of ideas that – even after losing all of their applicability and vitality – continue to disturb people’s minds. For example, some people believe that Belarusians are very tolerant, that current penitentiary system is effective, or that the Soviet educational model is still relevant for Belarus. 

Katsiaryna Maslakova believes that these are “zombie ideas”, which has a negative impact on the economic, political and social development of the country. To challenge those so called corrupted ideas, Katsiaryna organised a serial of public discussions ideas where she invited various experts from Belarusian think tanks, advocacy agencies, formal and non-formal educational institutions.

By developing networks between active citizens of Belarus and Belarusian civil society organizations, Katsiaryna believes that her project directly contributes to the purpose of fostering a democratic and prosperous Belarus for the future.

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