In April 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred when Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in northern Ukraine exploded sending a deadly cloud of radiation into the atmosphere. 70% of the radioactive fallout landed on neighbouring Belarus contaminating 80% of its land mass. The people of Belarus and Ukraine were exposed to radioactivity 90 times greater than that from the explosion of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, and the United Nations declared it to be the greatest environmental disaster in the history of humanity.
Three decades after the disaster, the population of Belarus continues to suffer not only from a vast array of health problems, but from wide ranging and far reaching social issues, including a sense of despair at their unknown futures. Through no fault of their own, these people are living with a legacy of ill health, poverty and malnutrition as well as the knowledge that it will be tens of thousands of years before the radiation is depleted and their land is safe again.
Friends of Chernobyl's Children (West Leicestershire) is dedicated to relieving the suffering of children whose lives are impacted as a result of the disaster. We are an affiliated member of a national charity with around 25 satellite groups throughout the country and each year we collectively help approximately 400 Belarusian children by providing them with a month long recuperative holiday in the UK.
Fresh air, having fun, making friends, nourishing food, essential health checks and above all, lots of loving care are all part of our tried and tested formula for helping these children. Just one month away from their toxic homeland makes a huge difference to their health and wellbeing. Rosy cheeks, smiling faces, laughter, improved health and life-long friendships are just some of the outcomes.
Let us never forget the plight of these children. Please help us to help them. Thank you!