Olga Karach, Chairman, “Nash Dom” Civil Initiatives Centre

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Olga Karach, Chairman, “Nash Dom” Civil Initiatives Centre

Olga Karach, an ex-deputy of Vitebsk city council, considers herself to be a civil figure, not a politician. She leadsNash Dom’ (Our Home), a civic initiative that demands local authorities to be transparent in their decision-making.

Nash Dom’ started out as a way of protecting the interests of residents from a housing complex in Vitebsk. Karach taught people to check bills for the services provided by state utility companies. Later, each block became self-governed. And finally, self-government embraced houses and streets.

In this way, a young civic activist has unexpectedly become an opinion leader in her city. One more unexpected fact was that the civic initiative promoted by Olga Karach spread beyond the limits of Vitebsk and turned into a nation-wide movement. Its active members are not officially involved in politics, but their opinions are important for votersespecially during local elections, when routine local problems are brought into focus.

Olga Karach is undoubtedly a good example proving that a woman may establish herself as a public figure in any country, even in patriarchal Belarus. Therefore, she keeps an eye on the problems of gender inequality and is able to bring some male chauvinists down a notch or two.

Karach’s personal blog , Police look for Olga Karach, Olga Karach proposes adding policemen to the EUblack list

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists