The main thrust of the charity's work is to bring Belarusian children from the Chernobyl affected area of Belarus, typically aged between 7-12 years old, away from the contaminated environment in their own country, detoxify their immune systems and giving them a break from their often desperate domestic conditions, allowing us to provide support with health problems. Normally achieved through GP, dental and optical checks but also any further medical help if required.
During their month stay, the children live with their host family who provide a friendly, stable environment, nourishing food and lots of love and care. Our host families can vary from single parents through to retired couples who have caught a second wind. The key being that they are able to provide the love and care that our children deserve. A key element of our support is that host families invite the same children to return to them for between 3-5 years, building a very special relationship with their child.
During the visits, we establish a school with a full program of education and lots of fun activities. The school runs from Monday-Friday normally 8:30-16:30 throughout the visit. This allows for the host families to continue with their normal working lives.
When the children go home, they are healthier, more confident and full of enthusiasm about the wonderful experience they have just enjoyed. They return to their normal lives knowing that they have a special family in the UK who care for them. They all look forward to their return trips and delight in sharing their experiences with their family and friends. Their suitcases are full to bursting with warm clothes, shoes, toiletries, vitamins and other items to help them, their siblings, and extended family.
The hosting of a child is an incredibly rewarding experience for the entire family and often forges ties that go beyond the annual visits. The benefits are usually clear to see over the length of the program not only in the child's health, but also in their domestic circumstances back in Belarus, and in their confidence and outlook in the world. We also have evidence that their concentration at school noticeably improves. Our Committee also support our children and their families through an annual visit to see them in Belarus. Finally, we are happy to assist with organising private visits to this area for children who have completed the 5 year program so that the bonds you have built with your child can be continued for many years to come.