Some international holidays are observed in Belarus with certain local flavour. For instance, on the International Day for Protection of Children, the June 1st, some children are taken away from their parents in a very ceremonial atmosphere…

This, certainly memorable, way to mark the occasion, was employed in Orsha – a town in the Vitebsk region. Who indeed may know better than the Sector of Protection of Children at the Education Department of the Orsha executive council how to protect children on their first day of summer vacation? This knowledge of theirs dictated that the time right after the official part of the celebratory event is the best one to visit a foster parent Ms. Elena Kashina and her two foster sons, Vlad and Stas.

The boys are being brought up by Elena for nine years now. However this time came to an end on the first day of their long waited vacation, which they planned to spend with their foster mother. Experts on child protection – Mr. Vishevsky (juvenile inspector), Ms. Khodosevich (head of the sector of the child protection), and her three colleagues – appeared at Ms. Kashina’s front door to take the boys to the children’s home. Why? Very simple: Ms. Kashina’s foster mother contract had expired. This is DESPITE the fact that according to the ruling of the executive authority the children were given into foster care until they come of age.

Here we come to the figure of the head of the education department Mr. A.Zagursky, whose unauthorized decision to cease the contract with Elena Kashina was the real reason behind the withdrawal of the boys from their family.

It was this person who ordered to find something wrong with Vlad and Stas, preferably caused by their upbringing.

Until May 2016 the boys were characterized only as well-behaved and good students, despite one of them having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Then, all over sudden, they were a trouble. An enormous amount of pressure was put on the family. The boy with the disorder became the official scapegoat.

Instead of being supported he was chastised at school, just as his older brother on the basis of (sic!) their relation.

Adults, educators and psychologists, did not shrink away from manipulating and pressing the children, as well as from violating the rights of the boys.

As a result of this the family has disintegrated and all its members are stigmatized: one boy as a condemned troublemaker, his brother for “daring” being the boy’s relative, and their foster mother for facilitating all this. Rather surreal state of affairs!