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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

CORE - Support to Mother and Child Care in Chechersk District

Status
Closed
Belarus
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe
€ 96,096.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2005
TACIS
Programme
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States

Details

Nature

Action Grants

Contracting authority

EU Delegation Ukraine

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Open Call for Proposals

Duration

13/08/2005 - 13/08/2007

Contractor

ASSOCIATION MEDECINS DU MONDE*FRANC

Project / Budget year

Belarus 2003 Tacis Action Programme / 2003

Background

The project falls under the priorities of the program:"radiological quality", "culture and education of children and youth“and “transmission of the memory of the Chernobyl disaster ". It contributes to the diffusion of a true practical radiological culture among the citizens of contaminated territories, enabling them to better understand the everyday-life risks in contaminated territory. In the field of measurement it enables the local population to use the donated equipment, once properly trained. It is focused on pupils and their teachers. It stems from locally-anchored projects and takes an active part in developing a mode of creation and transmission of the memory of the catastrophe and its consequences, with the help of adults and children, who were not born in April 1986.

Objectives

The purpose of the project was to make easier and accompany the emergence of educational projects aiming at the involvement of the pupils of the Bragin district (in the south east of Belarus) in learning the practice of a radiological protection culture.
Since the damages of radioactivity are cumulative, it is important to reduce the inhabitants’ daily intake of radioactivity. In the daily life, the understanding of radioactivity issues and the current recommendations concerning food and the environment are not always applied and accessible to the public. By showing that monitoring could help them to reduce the dose of radioactive elements, this project aimed at breaking a fatalistic turn of mind.

Results

This project was essentially centred on children who represent both the future generation and the most sensitive group among contaminated by the radioactive effect. Children represent also the best way to realise in-depth contact with the whole population. Associating the teachers gives to the project autonomy and perennity.

The twinning of Belarus and French schools allowed to create international exchange and solidarity for the memory of the accident, favouring the sharing of experiences and concerns between the children and the teachers of both countries.

The methodology used was based on an involvement of the Belarus local partners in setting up and following through the project. In the Belarusian school context, the teachers, as in France, are trained according to partitioned disciplinary traditions. To carry out this project, which concerns much if not all the subjects taught, it was vital to give them further training.
This specific training had to take into account the local requests, thus giving sense to the projects and real motivation to their authors / actors.

The project was carried out according to the specifications. The results were performed in seven activities related to the objectives above mentioned:

Activity 1 (A1) - project-launching Seminar

A seminar presenting the objectives of the project to gather all the Belarusian partners of the project, the local authorities and various local actors involved in radiological protection and education (teachers, dosimetrists, organisers of art centres, doctors, researchers, persons in charge of associations…).
The aim of the project-launching Seminar was to create the best condition for the implementation of the project. A presentation of the ETHOS experience and of the education project launched in the Stolyn district in the framework of CORE was performed by the partner CEPN, directly involved in both experiences.
The Seminar also included a detailed presentation of the other project launched in Bragin district on radiology measurement (partner Rastok Gesni) and on memory of the accident of Chernobyl.

Activity 2 (A2) - Methodological training

It consisted, on the whole, in initiating a training to the different aspects of project-oriented processes, from the creation, implementation and evaluation of a project, to the dimensions of team-work with partners coming from other cultural or professional "worlds".
Teachers, but also many other partners benefited from a substantial training on what can take place in a group, and learn how to live serenely the differences and conflicts between adults, to negotiate, seek a compromise in situations where all are confronted with a real relational complexity, even if everyone is conscious of the vital importance and of the stakes of the actions which contribute to the implementation of a radiological culture.
Concerning the content itself, it was based on the experiments which have been led in France with the teachers who asked for an accompaniment before engaging in pluri, inter, trans-disciplinary practices.

Activity 3 (A3) - Technical and scientific training

The experiments led in France with secondary school pupils (12-15 years) have underlined that it is not necessary to have a deep scientific culture about nuclear physics to cover the subject. Nevertheless, these same experiments have shown that the teachers appreciate to have some basic knowledge about a new concept before approaching it with the pupils.
The contractor ACRO lead training periods on the technical and scientific aspects of radioactivity and its environmental impact. The Association developed knowledge on this topic with French students and future physics teachers. The documents for the lessons were adapted to the particular Belarusian context (integration of the local specific aspects, translation into Russian…) and to the specific requests of the teachers.

Activity 4 (A4) - Twinning between French and Belarusian schools

The topical projects which are developed in the CORE program are always relayed on the international level. It seems to be an important condition to give the actions a better chance of success.
Two Norman schools (France) expressed their interest in involving their pupils in a project of partnership with schools located in the contaminated territories of Belarus. The actions at the start of the project were based on exchanges of mails, which were made easy by the use of communication and information technologies. The connection of the Belarusian schools to the Internet was a key element in the implementation of these twinning activities. On this basis, other leads were evoked: creation of an Internet site. The work of a Franco-Russian translator supported this activity.

Activity 5 (A5) - Practical projects involving pupils with the culture of radiological protection

This education to the radiological culture insisted on practical projects involving the pupils and aiming at increasing the knowledge of the radiological situation of the village and the main living areas, measuring the contamination of food, etc.
The pedagogic actions were based on a complete and active involvement of the children. The actions included, for example, arranging excursions in the village in order to assess the radioactivity in the daily environment of the children so as to define the safety areas ; - work on the radiological quality of the food eaten by the children (food quantities, measure of the level of contamination of the products, particularly in the enclosures and in the forest), work on the local agricultural production and radioactivity (conditions of the site, rooms for manoeuvre, evolution of the situation) by analysis of the contamination of the cultivated soil and of the transfer of contamination in farm products, milk and meat, - linked with the measurement of the ingestion and of the whole body, etc.
On the French side, parallel actions were carried out, with the support of the ACRO, in order to introduce the pupils to the radiological concepts necessary to the proper understanding of the everyday problems in the territories contaminated after Chernobyl.

Activity 6 (A6) - Exploitation and valorisation and sharing of the data.

The pupils themselves represented the results in the forms of graphs, histograms, data bases, maps with radiological measurements, synthetic pieces of work.
The teacher’s role was to underline the elements essential to the development of a practical radiological culture and to insist on the need for cooperating with the local professionals to solve the various problems and to draw the useful conclusions from them.
The results obtained were diffused at the local level by posting in the public places, distribution of fliers, public meetings. A broader diffusion (regional, national and international) was carried out through the Internet with each school reporting on line the carried out work, the results, interpretations and possible recommendations.

Activity 7 (A7) - Intermediate and closing seminars

The intermediate seminar, carried out after the first year made possible to validate the approach of the project, to evaluate the engaged actions, the encountered difficulties and to exchange the various experiences gained by each author/actor of the project. The closing seminar was the opportunity for the actors to carry out a final assessment.