Meeting with activists of Belarus' pioneer organization on occasion of 100th anniversary of pioneer movement

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has met with activists of Belarus' pioneer organization on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the pioneer movement.

First of all, the head of state congratulated the children, their parents and grandparents on this day. “You are still very young, but, one might say, you are at ground zero of the revival of a real pioneer organization. I have a feeling that this year will be packed with events for us, for our youth in the BRSM Youth Union and for you, pioneers. There is a lot of work for us to do in the coming years. Therefore, you are at the origins of it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President reminisced about his childhood. According to him, it fell on the heyday of the pioneer movement. “It was about patriotism. I even remember when they gave me the Pioneer's scarlet necktie and taught me how to tie a knot. I remember myself ironing this necktie. There was not a single day when I went to school without the tie. The tie was a mandatory thing. These were the happiest years, because they were carefree. I was not stressed by anything,” the head of state said sharing his memories.

At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in those years life was not easy for rural children, because in addition to studying they had to work hard, help their family. “I would not say that we had a lot of fun. It is true, we lived carefree. We studied. We could do sports from morning till night whenever we were free from agricultural works. There was a lot of work in the countryside. Helping elderly people was a must. We did not forget about them. After the war, there were a lot of wounded and it was necessary to help them. Respect for the elders was huge,” the President said.

“The present is a very exciting time. It has chosen you first of all. The future of the country is in your hands, and you must preserve it. You will never feel better anywhere than at home,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The head of state recalled that following the presidential election in 2020 some of those who did not agree with the results of the vote, especially those who actively took part in the protests, decided to leave the country. “I am receiving information that many of them want to come back home but do not know how. First, they feel ashamed: they ran away, how can they return? Now, let them think for themselves how to do it,” the President added.

During the meeting, the head of state asked in detail about the structure and composition of the pioneer organization and the BRSM Youth Union, their interaction with each other and with the Education Ministry and educational institutions. According to him, the structure will remain the same for the time being, but in the future it needs to be revised.

“I will tell you frankly that we have to seriously revise the work of the pioneer organization and our youth organization. The biggest drawback is that pioneers and the pioneer organization have weak-tie relationships with the youth organization, the BRSM Youth Union, while BRSM is not very interested in your work. We had an iron rule in the past: Komsomol members were the elder brothers who led the way. In other words, a new generation of young people was raised from pioneers. We still under-perform in this matter,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He set a task for the government and the Belarus President Administration to develop proposals on how to improve the structure of the pioneer organization and the BRSM Youth Union: “We need to do this together, and we'd better complete this work by the end of the year. We should start with the youth, with the BRSM Youth Union. The BRSM grassroots organizations should be ubiquitous and cover all youth groups, including young people living in the countryside, students, young workers, and so on, like it was in the times of the Komsomol.”

According to the President, the pioneer movement might fail without the active participation of the BRSM Youth Union. “Not a single government agency can handle this. Your senior comrades should be doing this. Therefore, we need to do a lot of work here. We will rebuild this system, and it should be no worse than back in those days. In this case we will have enough patriots and there will be no issue of patriotism,” the head of state said.

“To make young people respect and appreciate the Komsomol, it is not enough to have smart people in charge. It is necessary to make the Komsomol activities attractive to young people,” the President said commenting on the prospects of the BRSM Youth Union.

The head of state believes that this youth organization should play a bigger role, just as big as the Komsomol played during the Soviet times. Back then, the Komsomol committee was involved in many activities, including the payment of scholarships, the provision of a place in a dormitory, and the organization of cultural events. “In other words, we need to raise the importance of the Komsomol organizations. And we need to work on this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

“We should move forward, and we should rebuild the structure, and most importantly, get rid of formalism. To be honest, there is plenty of formalism there,” the President noted. “There should not be any activities just for the sake of appearances, just to tick the box,” the head of state added.

"The formalism is huge. It should not be there. We must get rid of this and make sure that the pioneer organization and the BRSM Youth Union are attractive to young people. Here is our task. Mr Sergeyenko [Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko], go ahead and do it, this is a serious matter. We really missed a lot of things here. That is what patriotism is about. It starts here, with these kids. They already understand everything. Their formative years are now, and not when they go to university or college,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.