America is a home to increasing number of immigrants, many of whom hail from Belarus. After conducting many interviews with immigrants from Belarus (children, parents, local community activists and businesses) , it became clear that during last 20 years population of immigrants from Belarus have grown up tremendously in tristate area and they want more than just to maintain their presence. They wanted a Belarusian Educational Community Center that fosters healthy community interaction, creativity, collaboration and cooperation. Above all, they universally expressed a desire for the Center to be governed by, and responsible to, the local community.
In response, we officially formed a non-profit (registered with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State) and looking for a fiscal sponsorship agreement with businesses and other local communities. BECC’s proposal is designed to succeed through the strength of community participation and control. All BECC proceeds will cycle back into programs, activities, and Community Center operations.
Looking to the other Community Center’s in the area (Ukrainian, Hungarian, German) as examples, BECC is dedicated to creating a sustainable, vibrant, inclusive community center in NE Pennsylvania, which will be home for Belarusian diaspora in tristate area.
We envision transparent governance by a board of community members joined to meet the needs and desires of the community. We envision dynamic programs and activities for all ages, from preschool to seniors. We see a coalition of organizations and non-profits who would benefit and support a wider range of classes, events, entertainment and sports activities.
We see a greater emphasis on outreach and advocacy manifesting in an expansion of activities and renewed support for our Center. We see cultivation of leadership, partnership, growth, human capital, and confidence, with fundraisers, activities, and programs tying the community together; a place for community members, visitors, and the generations to meet, mingle, network, and recreate.