It may only be welded with iron and blood…
But we will try to solder it with love, -
And then we’ll see what’s stronger…
I was not alone, I had companions in arms and together we did it with open hearts, great hopes and exciting plans. We sincerely believed in our affair and we were into it with a lot of passion and even romanticism. We had no experience of similar work but all of us were well skilled in production, engineering, science, educational and military activities in all various aspects. But the most important thing is that we were guided by common sense. Consolidation of our knowledge, skills, and experience let us within less than two months prepare and hold the Founding Congress of «All-Ukrainian Association BELARUS» on 4th March 2000, and we did that without any financial or other help from Belarusian or Ukrainian authorities or any other third parties.
Our All-Ukrainian public organization was registered with Ministry of Justice on 31th March 2000. Our strong team was the first in Ukraine to create a national public organization which united representatives of Belarusian ethnos from 17 Ukrainian regions.
«All-Ukrainian Union of Belarusians» was created afterwards. But it was later. We were the first to carry out systematic inventory of already existing and incipient but disparate at that time regional organizations as well as organized communities and random groups of Belarusians in Ukraine.
We used all the informational opportunities we had in our possession to locate them. However we did not confine ourselves to that. We gave Belarusians a great guidance to get them involved into consolidation processes at the All-Ukrainian level.
At the same time we never divided people based on their religious affiliation, ethnicity, political or any other convictions. We acted on the premise that anyone who was ready to contribute to the main goal of the Association with practical actions could be our ally.
The Founding Congress approved the Statutes, the Arms, the Anthem, and the Program of the organization. In the Program we proclaimed serious tasks which we were going to solve. We can’t say that everything went smoothly. Our independence, determination and seriousness of intentions caused not only confusion but even opposition of some regional Belarusian structures in some instances.
Our intention to involve Belarusians in the business processes between Belorussia and Ukraine in order to provide economic basis for cultural and educational programs and other activities was subject to special criticism and opposition by our opponents. Our response to them remains the same as it was back in the day.
Our dear opponents and critics, any activity towards promotion of Belarusian cultural treasures, traditions, history and culture requires resources, including financial ones. And you are well aware of that.
It is wonderful if both countries support Belarusians’ cultural and educational organizations of Ukraine. But it is very unwisely to continuously critic and spurn Belarusian entrepreneurs. Our position on this disagreement of principle with you has been unchanged and remains so. It is necessary to find methods and techniques to ensure financial independence of Belarusian organizations in Ukraine. We are sure that there are great opportunities for further development and growth of those organizations.
So let’s finally follow common sense and unite to implement those opportunities for the benefit of Belarusians living in Ukraine and for the benefit of Ukraine and Belarus.
Nowadays the situation has changed due to certain circumstances. The president of the organization who was elected at the Founding Congress passed away, although we have to note that he had made a great contribution to the organization at its beginning. The legal documents were returned to those members of the organizing committee whose ideas, plans, energy and experience had been the source of «All-Ukrainian Association «BELARUS».
We, the members of the organizing committee and founders of the organization, consider that fact primarily as responsibility for the future of the organization, for the future of those few regional departments which in spite of any troubles have been working on their own all these years, responsibility to those who believed in us, responsibility to our motherlands Belarus and Ukraine citizens of which we are, responsibility for not realizing the hidden potential of Belarusian diaspora in Ukraine for their own benefit, and finally responsibility to ourselves for promises and declared intentions which have not been accomplished yet.
The second important task is assistance and support for Belarusians, just as it is done by other ethnic groups which we should take as examples.
The third goal is to involve as many Belarusians living in Ukraine in our activity as possible. Every affair is made by people, any organization is created by people. Their interests, rights, needs are the center and the point of our work as well as its source and power.
We intend to solve the following tasks:
- To revive the activity of All-Ukrainian public organization «All-Ukrainian Association BELARUS».
- To adjust the Statutes and the Program of All-Ukrainian public organization «All-Ukrainian Association BELARUS» subject to features of the present situation.
- To hold regular Congress of All-Ukrainian public organization «All-Ukrainian Association BELARUS».
- To unite different national and cultural societies and organizations in Ukraine not in word but in action.
The main thing which unites us, or at least should do so, is that we are Belarusians. We love our Belarus, the country where we were born. We love our Ukraine, the country citizens of which we are. To do everything for their benefit is our obligation and sacred duty. Our grandparents lived here. And we live here now. Our children will live here after us. Never forget that.
All-Ukrainian public organization «All-Ukrainian Association BELARUS»