Chil­dren in need of a life­line

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sounds Good - by James Lawren­son

THE Ch­er­nobyl Chil­dren Life­line char­ity is ap­peal­ing for vol­un­teer host fam­i­lies to look af­ter chil­dren from Be­larus this sum­mer.

The chil­dren live in the re­gion that was badly con­tam­i­nated by ra­di­a­tion when the nu­clear re­ac­tor at Ch­er­nobyl ex­ploded in the Ukraine in 1986.

Birth de­fects and ill­nesses in­clud­ing can­cer are com­mon due to the ra­di­a­tion which still lingers.

But the chil­dren’s health notably im­proves af­ter respite time in Kent.

Last year the Ch­er­nobyl Chil­dren Life­line (CCL), Ash­ford and New Rom­ney Link was able to or­gan­ise stays in the area for 18 youngsters and this year it plans to do the same.

CCL is part of a na­tional char­ity founded in 1992 which raises money to sup­port the chil­dren of Be­larus and is looking for peo­ple will­ing to host pairs of chil­dren for a month. Prospec­tive hosts can be fam­i­lies, cou­ples, or sin­gle moth­ers.

The chil­dren are typ­i­cally be­tween 9 and 16, and all have med­i­cal clear­ance to come to the UK. Hosts do not have to worry about the lan­guage bar­rier as each group comes with their own in­ter­preter.

The char­ity brings more than 4,000 chil­dren a year to Bri­tain on respite hol­i­days which can ex­tend their lives by up to two years.

Slava from Ch­er­nobyl with Sam the labrador

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