The monastic farmstead at Vishnevka Village, some 15 kilometres outside Minsk, has been providing disadvantaged women with food, shelter and supported employment to help them rebuild their lives. Some 30 women suffering from addictions, homelessness or have criminal records are residing at the farmstead at any given moment. Given the importance of productive and creative work in this journey, giving the residents a variety of choices was always considered an important priority, and in addition to working with animals and tending for the crops, the farmstead is home to bookbinding, sewing, and a range of other workshops to help the resident women progress in building constructive attitudes to life and work and develop their talents.
The farmstead is located in a scenic area of natural beauty. The monastic sisters have kept many traditional recipes of herbal teas, some with curative and medicinal properties. The recently established herbal tea workshop is utilizing this valuable resource while offering some of the women the opportunity to master new technology and build valuable working experience. According to Nun Barbara, who is responsible for running the monastic farmstead, the workshop is a choice mostly for women at more advanced stages in their journey to normalcy, who have spent a year or more at the farmstead.
The herbal workshop opened its doors in November 2019. It is active in newly renovated premises. The herbal tea blends are made according to old monastic recipes. The teas have acquired popularity among customers, and are available in many chain stores.
At present, the workshop relies mostly on menial work, which limits productivity and production capacity. To address this bottleneck, there is a need to acquire a sifting and cutting machine and a drum mixer. The additional benefit will be the opportunity to diversify into the packaging of other grocery products such as grains, cereals and seeds, also produced at the farmstead. In preparation for the expansion, work has already been completed on the renovation of the former military barrack where the production facility will be located.
The project will help the women residents of the farmstead to gain more advanced technical skills to operate the equipment, improve the working conditions, and diversify job choices. Your donation towards this project will be valued and appreciated. Please go to our donation page if you wish to make one, or consider acquiring one or more products of our monastic workshop.
From 17 to 26 September, Saint Elisabeth Convent takes part in the online festival of Orthodox artists, blessed and supported by His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas and the Brotherhood of the Orthodox Mission Abroad.
Alys Tomlinson got to know Nun Vera from our Convent during her trip to the Holy Mountain Grabarka. Thanks to a photo of Nun Vera, Ms Tomlinson was declared Photographer of the Year at the annual Sony World Photography Awards.
Nun Rebecca (Pereira): We bring together children and young people interested in living their faith. It unites forty children and fifteen adults.
Some 30 disadvantaged women living at our farmstead are working hard to find healing to their souls and reunite with God. We have launched a fundraising effort to procure 7 bells for the farmstead’s church, and are inviting you to pitch in.
For the last five years, the Convent of Saint Elisabeth has been hosting a self-help group, offering support and guidance for the relatives of sufferers from substance abuse. Recently, it also began to work with individuals in co-dependent relationships.
The Family Reunions Project based at Saint Elisabeth Convent helps families in crisis work together to mend their relationship. The participants are encouraged to find joint solutions to their problems and relearn the essential skills of communication.
You can become a Secret Angel by purchasing products from a special category that will be sent to children with special needs who live permanently in boarding homes which our Sisters look after every day.