My name is Tokarchuk Olga. I am a blogger.
My story began when Siarhei Tikhanouski decided to run as a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Belarus. At that time I watched his videos and realized that I couldn't stay away. Later, when Sergei was detained and Svetlana was nominated instead of him, I recorded some emotional videos that people noticed and started to subscribe to. That's how I suddenly became a blogger.
I was also an independent observer. And after the elections, I didn't miss a single march, including the marches of pensioners. I recorded motivational videos to keep people going and to keep them believing in victory. Unfortunately, the video from my YouTube channel had to be removed for the safety of those caught in the footage.
In January 2021, I was detained for the first time under Article 23.34 (Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus — violation of the order of organizing or holding mass events). Then again, and again. In total, 4 times. In all cases I was given a 30 base fine, plus all the time from court to court I was on Okrestina. Then I was charged with the first criminal case under Article 391 (Article 391 of the Criminal Code — insulting a judge or a people's assessor) for insulting a judge, and three days later I was released on my father's surety and on my own recognizance. I realized that when the case came to court, I could be given a real sentence. But despite all the risks I decided to stay.
On May 19, 2021 I was searched and my apartment was literally destroyed, and I was taken away under Article 342 (Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus — organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order). After 3 days they added another article 188 (article 188 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus — slander) and sent me to Zhodzina, where they drew two more episodes to article 342.
I spent seven months in Zhodzina waiting for the trial. Then there was a stage to Volodarka and a trial, which sentenced me to a year and a half in a colony. I was released in June 2022, having served my sentence in full. And 4 months after my release — in October 2022 — I was put on the list of extremists. But I still wanted to stay in Belarus to be near my dear people.
Our life was ruined on January 23, 2024, when KGB officers came at 7:30 in the morning and took me for questioning in the INeedHelp case. Fortunately, my phone had been cleaned, so they couldn't charge me with anything. They kept me until evening, drew up a report, took my phone and let me go. However, on the same day my mother was also detained. Now she is under investigation in Zhodzina. My dad and I realized that he would also be prosecuted, so we decided to leave. My dad would not have survived prison, and I would not have survived another sentence and separation from my children.
Therefore, on January 27, 2024, me, the children and Dad — we left. Dad's condition is terrible because his life collapsed in three days. And on me the retired dad is already without pension and two small children.
We ask for any help!
How much is needed?
We are running without clothes and money. We need to rent accommodation (minimum 2 rooms) and pay for it for a few months until I find a job.
My job is computer related so a computer and monitor is needed.
We need to clothe the kids, my dad and myself, as we only have what we are wearing.
We need to minimally organize the household: dishes, bedding and everything necessary for life.
We need to get the kids ready for school.
We also need the cheapest car we can get because my dad has bad knees and it's hard for him to walk. We may also need to drive the kids far to school.
I am the only breadwinner in my family right now and without your help I don't know how to cope.