Thursday, September 27, 2012

UNDP doing "holy work" with Coca Cola $$$ in Belarus: Holy springs in Mogilev Oblast opened for public

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27.09.2012 18:41

MOGILEV, 27 September (BelTA) – Holy spring wells in the village of Berezovichi near Bobruisk and in the village of Proshcha near Osipovichi were opened for the public after cleanup and landscaping on 26 September, BelTA learnt from the UNDP Office in Belarus.

The project Live Water - Purification of Spring Wells in Belarus is run by the interfaith mission Christian Social Service in partnership with the Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belarus and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project envisages cleanup and landscaping of four spring wells under the patronage of church communities of Mogilev and Vitebsk Oblasts. During a media tour journalists could familiarize themselves with the work that was done to clean up and landscape the spring wells near Bobruisk and Osipovichi. A trip to Vitebsk Oblast will be arranged in October after the completion of the cleanup of the other two holy spring wells.

“Thanks to the work done the spring wells got a new lease on life – a beautiful tent has been installed under the spring wells; the surrounding territory has been cleaned up and landscaped with walkways, benches and belvederes installed. It is noteworthy that local people took an active part in the work. Local residents will take care of the spring wells and the surrounding territories, while the quality of water in the springs will be regularly checked in specialized laboratories,” project manager Vasily Zavadsky said. He noted that spring wells have always been venerated by Slavic peoples. From ancient times people believed in the healing powers of spring wells. This pertains to the spring wells that were cleaned up in line with the UNDP project.

The most famous and venerated spring well in Belarus is the one in the village of Proshcha. The locality was first mentioned in historical documents in 1864. According to a legend, two blind travelers drank the water from the spring well, washed with it and saw the light. An icon of the Holy Virgin appeared on a tree near the spring well. Three times local residents carried the icon away to the nearest church, but each time in some miraculous way it returned to the same tree in the forest. A church was built in that exact place in 1864. Thousands of pilgrims from all over Belarus and abroad come to Proshcha to pray and wash with the holy water, which attests to the real healing properties of the spring well. The very word “Proshcha” testifies to the miraculous power of the water. The word means “pardon of sins”.

The major goal of the project is to improve access to clean drinking water, reduce the number of polluting runoffs and raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage people to take part in nature conservation activities. The project is financed by Coca Cola and the Global Environment Facility. The time frame of the project is 12 months.

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