Irina Sukhiy, Public Association «Eco House»

What was important in the life of civil society in Belarus over the last year?

Sometimes it seems that in our work we are doing our best, but we get only minimum result, and we do not have enough success stories. A recent event that first comes to mind is important - we were able to defend several sanctuaries and save the swamp in the campaign to protect the Belorusian  marshes. This campaign also initially aroused skepticism because already been decided by the Board of Ministers that the country needs a peat, and we doubted that we would get anythong achieve. Nevertheless, the campaign ended very successfully, and just like the history of do not allow to burn out and make the next deal with the case.

What can activists and human rights activists in other countries to help change the situation in Belarus?

We need support from other countries, solidarity and assistance we receive. All this helps us stay alive. I remember a few cases and stories, when the things that we could not do or discuss safe inside Belarus, voiced from outside, including the international level. These actions show the Belarusian authorities that impossible to do disgusting things unfair undetected. We are very grateful for the help and support and for always voicing problem spots.

What gives you the strength to continue work personally in the civilian sector?

Inspiration comes in waves. Because I have long been in the civilian sector , since 80s, and has already been seen many things. And that's when you realize that serious changes are happening, and that only around one outrage, you discouraged. But those victories that sometimes happen, give us new energy. And even if we saved 4 swamps, or 10 trees, or help and support of several people is already a success! After all, small steps are also crucial!