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‘CHOICE’ project makes history a resource for participation and development

“Something unbelievable is happening, something that was never done before! Our children feel very pleased because they have chance to act out the memories they have collected. The history of the town Ashmyany is relived on the scene in the centre of the town!” says Elena Apanell, school deputy director in Ashmyany, Belarus.  

ALDA’s Project CHOICE (Cultural Heritage: Opportunity for Improving Civic Engagement), with the financial support of European Union is doing the “unbelievable” in Ashmyany, a town on the north-west of Belarus.  In collaboration with the local museum, school and newspaper, coordinator of the project, Hanna Wygonnia, are collecting the historical facts, citizens’ memories to recreate Ashmyanian history. They went further to bring it all in the centre of the attention, they have created a script for a theatre play with 20 locals, including children and elder generation participating. 
“Everything began from meeting and cooperation with citizens of Ashmyany”, says Wygonnia. Starting from the personal interaction, the idea grew onto a local level project. Regional newspaper “Ashmyanian Vestnik” launched the project for calling memories in the area. Local school involved your generation to ask their grandmas and grandpas about what was happening many years ago. A play will conclude this pleasant cooperation, by celebrating the local heritage. 
The aim of CHOICE project is to enhance civil society’s role in developing a heritage-friendly living environment. This will ultimately help ALDA to develop policy recommendations for the Eastern Partnership governments on preservation of cultural heritage, therefore strengthening country’s stance in local and international dialogue. Its sub-granting scheme empowers civil society in Moldova, Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine to design and implement their specific initiatives and contribute to cultural heritage revitalization and local development.
Further information on the website of the project 

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