Belarus Lives

Elena Vereshchagina, 2016

Genre Documentary
Year 2016
Country Belarus
Duration 6 episodes of 18 minutes / 108 minutes
Language Russian
Topics social enterprises of Belarus
A documentary series about our compatriots doing seemingly impossible things: they create socially-oriented businesses, help the weak, save our cultural heritage. Independently, without reliance on the state, far from the capital. They are not superheroes, there are no millionaires among them, they look quite ordinary. Although not really... They look happy, they don’t have even a bit of melancholy indifference, and not by chance. These people found themselves, found people who needed them. And it is thanks to them that Belarus lives.

Poster for Belarus Lives.


Director Elena Vereshchagina
Producer Leonid Kalitenya
DOP Vasily Bartlov
Editing Igor Chischenya
Sound engineer Petr Slutsky
Composer Elena Dolgikh


Episode 1

The economy is not only about money. Belarus is not only a state.
The social economy is created by all of us for the benefit of the whole country.
Dozens of social enterprises operate in Belarus. They employ people with disabilities, often without professional education. These are fully self-financed private companies.

Our documentary on the social economy will show two of them: “The Road to Life” and “Baranski Arabesque”.

Episode 2

The social economy does not need to exist within a system. It can be created by people who, for one reason or another, were not in demand in the public sector.
The heroes of the second series of our film: ex-deputy of the Supreme Soviet Eduard Voitekhovich, who today runs the Komarovo Center for the Development of Rural Entrepreneurship, and Irina Sergeichik, owner of the Kolo Strumenya agro-estate, former head physician of the Turov city hospital.

Episode 3

In Belarus, with the support of the state, a network of social service centers (TSSCs) has been created, which covers the entire country.
The goal is to support people in difficult life situations. The centers have departments for adaptation and rehabilitation, day care and others. Today there are 148 TSSCs in Belarus.
During the filming of our documentary project on the social economy, we visited two of them: Vileika and Soligorsk.

Episode 4

Social assistance is expressed not only in money for those in need. This is the protection of a person in their rights, timely and truthful information for them or a free space in which they can express themselves.

Episode 5

Social enterprises are not limited to people with disabilities.
Thus, the only private nursing home operates in the Volozhin region of Belarus. And in Svetlogorsk there is a company for the production of household and ritual goods, which employs ex-convicts.
Series 5 of our documentary project is about the ability to commercialize work with “complex categories” and the unique experience that it gives.

Episode 6

In our country, there are examples of highly profitable social enterprises – the flagships of the social economy. We will show two of them in our film.
In “HYPERMARKET OF SERVICES 124” 90% of the staff is made up of people with disabilities. With the help of the call center of the company, it provides household services to the population, is engaged in outsourcing of business processes and administers websites.

The second example: hotels of the Belarusian Association of the Visually Impaired, where people with disabilities work.