Buzuluk is a town to the south of the Urals in the Orenburg Region, which straddles the border between European Russia and Asian Russia.
It has a long Quaker history: Friends worked there both before and after the Revolution, during a series of famines which caused great suffering over a huge area (25,000 sq.km). As well as food supplies the relief effort ran a malaria clinic and reopened three hospitals and an orphanage. Quakers from Britain and the USA lived and worked there for several years.
With these historic roots in Buzuluk, we were pleased to receive an application for support from “Green Patrol”, a group of young ecoactivists who clean the banks of the rivers and hold waste sorting actions. They also aim to change people’s idea of using the countryside as a dumping ground for debris.
We helped to provide materials for their initiative to sort out waste and transport it to the nearest waste disposal and treatment centre at Samara, 170 km away.
A video is available which shows the scale of the environmental degradation, and the work done in 2020 by the local volunteers: https://youtu.be/CotIg4aiiEs