7 cities and 1858 km – that’s what we experienced during our 8-day journey on board the train UN 70 Belarus Express. A wonderful idea – to celebrate the UN’s 70th anniversary and draw attention to the new global goals – was completed. And Share Music was part of the historic event.
The tour was like a big information campaign. The mission to raise awareness of the 17 global goals contained 253 different activities, of which 150,000 people took part. During this amazing journey we met so many nice people, experienced concerts, exhibitions and discussions and learned so much!
To travel by train was very good for reflections and discussions. A few hours after departure, we participated in a discussion about the steps to be taken, to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is now signed by Belarus. It is a great success, and many hope this will lead to positive changes. We noticed the process has already begun. For example the great students working with the United Nations model, argued for including people with disabilities in the society. In Vitebsk there is an inclusive school where they create conditions for children with disabilities to study in the same classroom as everyone else. In Gomel some NGOs have created a network to gain greater influence.
Seminars in different cities
In our seminars in Grodno, Brest, Gomel, Vitebsk and Mogilyev, many people participated in our activities and wanted to know how we work practically. We showed videos and pictures of what is possible to achieve on stage, regardless of different abilities. We emphasized the importance of goal number 4 – good education and lifelong learning – from the new Sustainable Development Goals.
In both Gomel and Mogilyev we had a good support team. Together with Inga Kizhlo and Associate Professor Ekaterina Soroko from our partner Maxim Tank University, we talked about cooperation in our projects ”DAJ” and ”Sofit”. Inga even did some improvisation exercises with the audience, which everyone liked. In total, nearly 500 people visited our lectures. We met Sergey Drosdovsky, co-founder of the National Association of wheelchair users in Belarus and coordinator of the ”Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, also showed great interest in our work.
Photo exhibition, music apps and visits
Along the way, we also showed the photo exhibition, ”New roles” which presents artistic photos by Peter Lloyd, taken during our performances. In Gomel, we showed the exhibition to regional members of our project partner BelADPIiMI. We also told them more about the background of the photos. We did study visits to rehabilitation and daycare centers.
Finally we had a film screening and presentation on the train during the last day. It was exciting to hold an activity on board, at full speed!
Facts on UN 70 Belarus Express
The train had 10 carriages, where some were used for talks and discussions. 300 people were on board: UN employees from Belarus, representatives from UN member states and a wide range of stakeholders; officials, civil society, private sector, youth, artists and representatives of marginalized groups.A unique journey with UN 70 Belarus Express