The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
On Saturday 26th April 1986 reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant overheated and exploded sending a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. The health, prosperity and dreams of hundreds of thousands of people were irrevocably changed as their world fell into the shadow of Chernobyl’s nuclear poison.
60-70% of this fallout settled onto the sleepy and innocent agricultural lands of Belarus to the north. An estimated 700,000 children currently live on this contaminated land. These children, the children of Chernobyl, will continue to suffer for 24,000 years, the time it will take for the land to be clear of radiation.
Please help us to make a difference to the lives of today’s victims in Belarus.
The effects of the radiation spread across the landscape and remain devastating to this day. The land, once the bread basket of Europe, is contaminated and the crops grown have radiation in them. They cannot be sold and most are consumed locally leading to poverty, depression and further health problems. Huge rise in general health problems across the contaminated region including:
- Cancers, most prevalent of which is Thyroid cancer in children and leukaemia
- Huge increases in birth defects
- Widespread vitamin deficiency and related immunity issues
- Social and psychological problems and alcoholism
Time has stood still since 1986 as many of the families are still living in wooden houses with no running water and an outside toilet. Not much protection with snow on the ground for 5 months of the year and temperatures getting to -30°C. The families often feel that the world has forgotten them.
The children, from the age of 7, come to Scotland for “a month of love and care”. We do this by providing:
- caring host families who look after their Belarusian child as if they were their own
- clean healthy uncontaminated air and surroundings
- healthy food (and lots of it)
- dentist, optician and further medical help if required
- a base for the month where the children are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the late afternoon from Monday to Friday
- a packed programme of fun activities at our base and throughout central Scotland
- suitcases full of vitamins, painkillers and warm clothes to take back to Belarus
- we also support the children with periodic food parcels during the year
The children return to the same hosts for 3 to 5 years, forming bonds with their Scottish families that create memories, friendships and love that will last a lifetime.
Before our month of love and care our children are often shy, low in confidence, unhealthy and in need of some TLC.
After a month of love and care the children return home healthier and happier.
How you can help us keep the children smiling:
- Become a host family
- Help with an organised fundraising event or run your own
- Give as you earn or Corporate Sponsorship
- Offer activities or services for our children
- Help with our organised days out and in with the children
- Support our Activities or Provisions teams
To read more about the charity, you can download our leaflet here.