Community “Belarusians Abroad”
Belarusians Abroad is a community of citizens and immigrants from Belarus who permanently or temporarily live outside its borders and are united by the goal of restoring and developing the institutions of civil society and democracy in Belarus.
The history of the community began in the summer of 2020, when Belarusians around the world began to follow political events in Belarus. Fearing impending falsifications and in an effort to protect their vote, an incredible team of more than 300 people from 23 countries gathered and conducted exit polls in 27 cities around the world. After the votes were counted, the Exitpol Abroad group organized a media campaign to show that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya won a convincing victory at most polling stations abroad, gaining a little more than 86% of all votes, and that at many polling stations at the Belarusian embassies were rigged.
The events that took place in Belarus after the elections — the cynical falsification of voting results and the subsequent unprecedented brutality of the Lukashenka regime towards peaceful protesters — pushed the group’s activists to create the Belarusians Abroad community.
The Community is based on the understanding that Belarusians living abroad want to help their people and Belarus on a volunteer basis. The main resource of the Community is the knowledge and experience of many project managers, lawyers, programmers, analysts, auditors, designers, scientists, teachers and doctors, as well as representatives of other important professions who are ready to give their time to achieve a common goal.
“Belarusians Abroad” consolidate the work of diasporas around the world. About 600 people from 50 countries participate in the projects of the Community, which makes it possible to carry out coordinated support actions, help refugees and victims of repression of Belarusians, inform the world community about the situation in the country and defend the interests of democratic Belarus in the international arena.
The most ambitious project implemented by the Community over these months is the World Congress of Belarusians, which was held on October 31-November 1 in the format of an online conference and united all democratic forces both inside the country and abroad. To achieve the main goal of the Congress — the development of reforms for the future Belarus — 27 working groups were created in various areas from economy and innovation to education and art.
“Our task is to create a free space for the consolidation of Belarusians all over the world,” one of the secretaries of the Community Artyom Ledovskiy said in an interview with BelaPAN. “We are well organized, we have enormous resources, an incredible list of expertise within our community, and we perfectly understand what goal we are going to.”