On 23 December 2014, a time capsule containing a message for our descendants was ceremoniously laid on the spot where the new Children’s Palliative Care Centre is to be built in Minsk. The capsule was laid by Anna Garchakova, director of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH), who was helped by Mr Anatoly Tozik, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, and Mr Vasily Zharko, the Belarusian Minister of Health. The ceremony was opened by an Orthodox priest who blessed the site of the building. Anna Garchakova explained that the letter contained the hopes of all those at the Children’s Hospice that, one day, incurable diseases will become curable or will be stamped out so that, in the future, no new hospices will be required.
The time capsule ceremony was a sign that stage two in the building of the new Children’s Palliative Care Centre is under way. The preparatory period, during which the site was fenced, trees and undergrowth cut down, tree stumps removed and undergrowth burnt, has come to an end. The general contractor is now in the process of purchasing building materials, working on the foundations, erecting a crane and putting in place communications and network systems. Temporary electric power and other facilities required by the construction process and its workers have been installed.
In May 2011, the Belarusian President gifted, by decree, to BCH a 0.69 hectare piece of land which was subsequently enlarged to 2 hectares. Since then, BCH has been raising funds to build a new Children’s Palliative Care Centre on this site. Although the construction process has begun, BCH is still fundraising as the target is yet to be reached.
Anna Garchakova explains: ‘Our fundraising has been split into two parts. The first part is to raise money for the areas of the new building that will be directly used by hospice children. The total needed for this is US$1.8m and so far we have raised US$1.7m. The other part is to raise funds for equipment and fittings of all sorts for the administrative and educational areas of the new building which will cost US$1m and we are still fundraising for this. The whole project comes with a price tag of US$2.8m.’
From the left: Inna Ivanskaya, BCH building project manager; Father Alexander; S. Trofimchuk, director of Prigorodstroiinvest; V. Sirenko, head of the Minsk Oblast Committee Health Department; Alexander Tsentner (and wife), chairman of A-100 Group, Olga Kobyakova, deputy chair of the BCH Advisory Council; Vasily Zharko, Health Minister; Anatoly Tozik, deputy Prime Minister; Anna Garchakova, director of BCH
The time capsule is laid in the ground by Anna assisted by Vasily Zharko and Anatoly Tozik
The time capsule is sealed in the ground for future generations