Education opens doors


The project “Education Opens Doors” is a continuation of the activities implemented by Gomel region public association“Community Development Projects”, a partner of the Representative Office of DVV International in Belarus. The activities were undertaken within the framework of the project “Adult Education for the Professionalization and Re-Socialization in Correctional Institutions” (2010-2013), as well as the international scientific-practical conference “Broadening the Access to Education in the Penitentiary System” held on November 29-30, 2012 in Gomel.

The project seeks to humanize the correctional system in the Republic of Belarus and to promote education as a fundamental human right. The concept was developed within the EU thematic program “European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights”. The project is financed by the European Union and DVV International (from the funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).

The project is being implemented by the Representative Office of the German Adult Education Association (“Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V.”) in the Republic of Belarus in cooperation with Gomel region public association “Community Development Projects” and the Directorate of the Department of Penalty Execution in Gomel Region. Expert advice as well as support in implementing certain components of the project is provided by the specialists from the Department of Penalty Execution together with the Belarusian MIA Academy. The officials from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection also provide their assistance.

The project “Education Opens Doors” has been carried out on the territory of Gomel and Gomel region in 2015-2016.

Its overall objective is to contribute to the humanization of penalty system in the Republic of Belarus and to promote education as a fundamental human right.

Target audiences:

  • about 500 female and male prison inmates from 6 penitentiary institutions of Gomel Region;
  • 20 prison and Department of Penalty Execution staff members;
  • around 70 specialists and experts in the field of penalty execution.

The expected results of the project:

  1. The network of correctional institutions offering education and training courses is created and supported by social partners.
  2. The access to education for prisoners in Gomel Region is broadened.
  3. Public awareness on fulfilment of the right to education and humanization of penalty system is raised.

These results are to be achieved by means of the following activities:

  1. An open selection procedure for the participation in the action among correctional institutions of Gomel Region.
  2. A Baseline Study aimed to collect data about the current situation with the accessibility of educational services for prisoners, to study the educational needs and attitude to life-long learning among both inmates and staff of correctional institutions and to analyze legislation and available resources for the future development.
  3. Elaboration of 4 training curricula on the topics “Education as a Human Right”, “Theory and Practice of Adult Education”, “Project Management”, “Strategies of Internal and External Cooperation”.
  4. A tender and implementation of 6 educational mini-projects. The tender aims at increasing the number of educational programmes for adult prisoners in the involved institutions and further promotion of human rights and innovative approaches as well as forms of work with prisoners.
  5. Study visits of the penitentiary system representatives and social partners to Germany and the Ukraine with the aim to get acquainted with penal systems and correctional institutions of these countries as well as to get to know their experience in the sphere of providing education for prison inmates.
  6. Developing Recommendations for the development of education in the penitentiary institutions of the Republic of Belarus.
  7. Preparation of the Final Report with the aim to identify the most visible outputs and results of the project activities. In addition to this, the Final Report on progress will be focused on tracking the changes in the attitudes of the target groups (prisoners and specialists of correctional facilities) to the issues of life-long learning at the end of the project.
  8. Organization of a 2-day international Closing Conference and publication of conference materials including results of the Baseline Study and Report on progress.