CHERNOBYL CHILDREN’S TRUST CORE PROGRAMMES INCLUDe
Chernobyl Kidz from Belarus in your home
Every summer, we fly children from disadvantaged areas of Belarus to Ireland for much needed holidays. These are ordinary children, usually with no specific medical needs other than good wholesome food and lots of fresh air! The children stay with host families in organised groups in various parts of Ireland. Visiting children are placed in pairs with families usually for a period of two or four weeks. The children’s average age is 10 and the youngest are 7 years old. Weekly activities are organised by our local group committees and translators are available at all times throughout the children’s stay. To take a child out of a contaminated area even for a few weeks can boost their immune system and generally instil a sense of positivity which can be lacking in many of their lives. Hosting these amazing children can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!
We sponsor life changing and sometimes lifesaving medical treatment and interventions for children in Belarus and where necessary fly them abroad for specialist treatment.
Disability support. White Dove
We work in partnership with a Belarusian organisation called “White Dove over Chernobyl”. This programme provides respite care and medical support to families that have chosen to keep their seriously-ill and profoundly disabled children at home in the family environment rather than giving them up to state care. This is a huge commitment anywhere but is extremely challenging in Belarus. We employ local Belarusian nurses and physiotherapists to provide respite and support to these extraordinary families. This is supplemented by volunteer medical professionals who travel from Ireland to Belarus at regular intervals. Through this programme we also provide medical and humanitarian aid including wheelchairs, special mobility equipment, adult incontinence wear, children’s nappies and medication to the children and young adults in the programme.
Volunteering abroad at Holiday Camps for Special Kidz!
This is an extension of our disability support programme and a wonderful way for volunteers to engage directly with very special children. The volunteers travel in a group from Ireland to spend one week living in a holiday camp in Belarus. Volunteers provide care & entertainment for profoundly disabled Children & young adults and a little respite for the parents so that they too can have a holiday from the difficulties and stresses of round the clock care for their very precious Children. This programme is hugely successful and is popular both with the Irish volunteers that travel to Belarus and the families and their Children & young adults being cared for. Volunteers fundraise in advance to cover associated costs. Testimonials…
Child Cancer Care: Let’s save lives of children with cancer together!
We support the vitally important work of the Children’s Oncology Centre at Borovlyani in Belarus where children and young adults with various cancers receive life-saving treatments. Since Chernobyl, the number of children suffering from oncological and haematological illnesses has increased dramatically. This clinic has amazing success rates but its capacity to treat children is limited and children are literally dying for lack of accommodation. We want to help increase capacity by 40 and save many children’s lives! The idea is to make the existing oncology facilities available to 40 more patients by providing temporary accommodation in the form of 20 mini-houses or chalets. Each house will accommodate two families, on a mother & child basis. Chernobyl Children’s Trust is the first international partner to this project and we hope to encourage others to get involved. Contact us for more information.
Community development in Kalinkovichi
We created a very effective disability support project in Kalinkovichi, Southern Belarus as part of our community development in the region. This project provides day care and teaches life-skills to disabled young adults to develop their true potential in life. It increases their employment and income generation potential through the provision of seven fully equipped workshops to encourage, develop and promote indigenous crafts and skills. This is a hands-on, self-sustaining project but above all, it integrates young adults with disabilities into the community. This is a very poor Chernobyl-affected area with 129 villages in the district and a huge number of disabled and marginalised young people. It is interesting to note that currently, there are more than 512,000 registered disabled children and adults living in Belarus (more than 5% of the population). This project was only made possible with the help of Rotary Naas, Ireland, Rotary Minsk and The Rotary Foundation.
Children’s (Pedagogical) Centres in Belarus are implementing progressive initiatives in the prevention of permanent institutionalisation of children, as was traditionally the norm for vulnerable ‘at-risk’ children. A Pedagogical Centre is a type of ‘Halfway House’ whereby children from families with social/economic difficulties are placed in care for a maximum period of six months while the family difficulties are dealt with by social workers. The idea is to return the children to the family unit at the earliest opportunity and thus prevent institutionalisation in a state orphanage. Generally, the centres are very well run but lack resources and equipment and sometimes the buildings are in a poor state of repair. Chernobyl Children’s Trust is committed to supporting the Pedagogical concept and the government’s decision to close orphanages and we work with the relevant Belarusian agencies to achieve this. We have renovated a number of buildings in various locations through a series of building projects, in addition to the provision of playgrounds, humanitarian aid and equipment to progress this very effective alternative to orphanages in Belarus.
This is a vital life-line of support to marginalised communities and a unique opportunity for volunteers to witness first-hand, the harsh realities of life for some in rural Belarus. Our volunteer drivers make the arduous journey from Ireland across Europe to personally deliver humanitarian aid to the end users. The provision of ‘clean’ imported food, clothes, equipment and other essential items to communities in Belarus can literally change people’s lives. We regularly need volunteers at home in Ireland also to help us collect, sort and load the aid onto trucks. We need these aid items for our next shipment: Adult incontinence wear, children’s nappies/diapers, soap, clean clothes (Children & Adult) and bed-linen. Contact us for further information.
This is a Partnership programme, involving volunteer trades’ people from Ireland flying to Belarus to over-haul buildings to high standards. Chernobyl Children’s Trust works in cooperation with Belarusian government agencies to renovate and equip buildings used by child support and community development organisations throughout Belarus.
The support of local communities in disadvantaged areas of Belarus continues to be one of the primary goals for Chernobyl Children’s Trust. Improving the lives of children in rural villages throughout Belarus is a priority. Winters are harsh with temperatures often as low as minus 30°C! We regularly find families living in villages without the basic requirements for survival: No food for several days, no heating or electricity in the house, no glass in the windows and snow outside! In the current economic climate, marginalized families are finding it more and more difficult to survive. We provide direct support to rural village families and especially ‘at risk’ children on a needs basis. Support is needed more now than ever before. Donate €10 now to help at risk children!