Daryl Ann Hardman has thirty five years’ experience working in British-Belarusian, British-Russian, British-Ukrainian, British-Armenian and British-Georgian relations, including humanitarian and NGO projects.
A graduate in Russian and French (translating and interpreting), Daryl Ann was kept extremely busy during the 1980s to 2000s working as a freelance translator and interpreter for the myriad of business and cultural exchanges that blossomed between the former Soviet Union and the UK. For ten years she worked for the CIS-Middle Europe Centre at London Business School, rising to Assistant Director.
In 1999 she switched her focus from the business to the NGO world, firstly as paid director of two London based charities with significant projects in the former USSR (St Andrew’s Ecumenical Trust and The BEARR Trust), then as founding trustee and chairwoman of charities set up in 1999 and 2006 to support and develop children’s palliative care in Belarus and the former Soviet Union.
Daryl Ann says, “The question I was asking myself in the late 1990s was ‘What has happened about the consequences of Chernobyl in the Russian-speaking countries? The media seem to have gone quiet.’ It became clear to Daryl Ann that there was great need for help particularly in Ukraine and Belarus. ‘I became convinced,’ she says, ‘that what was needed was to build infrastructure within these countries and to help them to help their own children, rather than leading them to believe that they could rely on help from abroad for the rest of eternity.’
Daryl Ann met Anna Garchakova, the founder and director of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, in 1998. ‘I realised, to plagiarise a phrase, that at last I had found a person and a project that we could do business with.’ And so it has proved. The Belarusian Children’s Hospice, with support and guidance from Friends of BCH in the UK and the BCH Advisory Council (chaired by Daryl Ann) in Minsk, has now developed into the leading children’s palliative care centre in Belarus and the whole region and currently cares for 110 children and their families at any one time. Plans are afoot for expansion.
In recognition of her achievements, in 2012 Daryl Ann was awarded the Order of Frantsysk Skaryna, the highest award in the Republic of Belarus for a non-Belarusian citizen.
A Certificate of Honour from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus signed by V A Vashchenko, Minister for Emergency Situations, was presented to Daryl Ann in 2016 by the Belarusian Ambassador to the UK HE Mr Sergei Akeinik. The citation reads: for significant contribution to the recovery and sustainable development of the territories of the Republic of Belarus which suffered from the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.