|President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in exile|
Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Jazep Sažyč|
Івонка Шыманец / Iwonka Szymaniec|
April 11, 1936
Stołpce, Second Polish Republic
|Children||Paulina Survilla, Hanna-Pradslava Survilla|
|Residence||Toronto, Canada (Private)|
|Religion||Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church|
Ivonka Survilla or Surviłła (Belarusian: Івонка Сурвілла, born Ivonka Šymaniec, Belarusian: Івонка Шыманец, Polish: Iwonka Szymaniec, April 11, 1936) is the current President of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR), the Belarusian government in exile.
In 1940, after the Soviet annexation of West Belarus, Uladzimier Shymaniets was arrested by the Soviets and sentenced to five years imprisonment in Gulag. He escaped due to the German attack on the USSR.
In 1944 the family fled to the West through East Prussia with the thousands of other refugees and eventually reached Denmark where they lived in a refugee camp for several years. On the way Survilla's younger sister died.
In 1948 her family moved to France and settled in Paris. Survilla's family members were active participants in the life of the local Belarusian community. Ivonka Survilla has studied one year at an art school and then graduated from a humanities faculty of the Sorbonne.
In 1959 Ivonka Shymaniets married Janka Survilla, a Belarusian activist and radio broadcaster. With him she moved to Madrid, Spain, where they ran a Belarusian language radio station which was supported by the Spanish government.
After closure of the station in 1965, in 1969 Janka and Ivonka Survilla moved to Canada where Ivonka started working as translator for the federal government. She eventually became head of department at Health Canada.
In Canada Ivonka Survilla became an active member local Belarusian organisations.
In 1986, shortly after the Chernobyl disaster, Survilla and Zina Gimpelevich created the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus. This charitable organization provides medical aid in various forms, reciprocal medical staff visits between Canada and Belarus, food aid as well as providing health respites for children in various locations within Canada.
As President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic
Ivonka Survilla was elected president of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1997, after the death of Jazep Sažyč. She is the first woman president of the Rada and the first president elected after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and creation of an independent Republic of Belarus.
Survilla regularly addresses the Belarusian society on March 25 and other occasions.
She is a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.
- The Road from Stoupcy to Copenhagen to Paris to Madrid to Ottawa to Miensk — The Memoirs of Ivonka Survilla (in Belarusian)
- Нашчадкі мастака Ўладзімера Шыманца працягваюць беларускія традыцыі і прадстаўляюць беларускую культуру ў заходніх унівэрсытэтах.
- "Prague Declaration - Declaration Text". 3 June 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Official page on Belarusian People's Republic Rada website
- Ivonka Survilla answers questions (Belarusian)