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31 Mar 2017

Young people from Vitebsk Oblast, Russia’s Smolensk Oblast to go on best cross-border tours

MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – Young people from Vitebsk Oblast and Smolensk Oblast will go on four cross-border tours in summer 2017. They will be chosen based on the results of a contest of projects of youth tour routes, BelTA learned from Vyacheslav Khrol, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Vitebsk Oblast Committee of Belarus’ BRSM Youth Union.

“Today the contest of cross-border tourist routes ‘Union Space’ was officially closed. The contest was held as part of the social project ‘Union Brotherhood’ and aimed to promote youth cross-border tourism, patriotic education and active leisure. We have not received as many applications from the youth of Vitebsk Oblast as we have expected, yet they are very diverse. The applicants have come up with river, pedestrian and cycling routes. All the applications meet the requirements of the tender: they offer a two or three days’ trips featuring maximum sights and leisure activities. The results of the contest will be summarized in late April, the trips will be scheduled for the second and third quarter of 2017,” Vyacheslav Khrol remarked.

Single authors and groups from Beshenkovichi District, Liozno District, Shumilin District, Orsha District and Vitebsk District applied for the contest. Among the applications there was a theme river tour Vitebsk-Beshenkovichi featuring locations related to the Napoleonic War of 1812 and the Great Patriotic War. Another example is a cycling route around Orsha District with a stop in the village of Alexandria, birthplace of the Belarusian president. The Smolensk Oblast administration has received around 20 applications from the oblast’s youth.

Two best Belarusian and two best Russian projects will get information support and financial support through a grant of Russia’s president won by the autonomous non-profit organization "For the Future". According to the organization’s director Natalya Polushkina, the tender sparked considerable interest. However, the organizers expect to receive more response after the routes are established. The tours along these routes will draw the attention of the youth to the Belarusian and Russian history and culture.

Active members of the BRSM Vitebsk Oblast Committee and students of the Smolensk State Institute of Arts and the Smolensk State University discussed the Russian-Belarusian youth cooperation during an open dialogue event in Vitebsk on 31 March. The meeting was dedicated to Day of Unity of Peoples of Belarus and Russia. The youth organizations of two regions are busy implementing a common project "Union Brotherhood". In January 2017 the first Belarus-Russian open dialogue event "Youth unions: different or similar?" was held. Attending the event were representatives of the Vitebsk Oblast Committee of the BRSM Youth Union, the Smolensk Oblast Organization of the Russian Union of Youth and the autonomous non-profit organization For the Future. An action plan for the project was approved and agreements were signed between the Vitebsk Oblast Committee of the BRSM Youth Union and the partners from Smolensk. Apart from the “Union Space” contest the cooperation program includes the Russian-Belarusian festival of contemporary creative works "Toward the Stars".

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