Volunteers make Chernobyl trip

FOUR intrepid charity workers will be visiting impoverished children in Belarus later this month. The four members of Friend s of Chernobyl s Children s (FOCC) Melbourn branch will be flying out to the former Soviet republic next Wednesday (April 8) to de

FOUR intrepid charity workers will be visiting impoverished children in Belarus later this month.

The four members of Friend's of Chernobyl's Children's (FOCC) Melbourn branch will be flying out to the former Soviet republic next Wednesday (April 8) to deliver aid to under-privileged children in Chernobyl.

FOCC Melbourn co-ordinator Nicola Dunklin, who will be making the trip, said: "We will be visiting each family in their homes and delivering basic medical supplies, vitamins, toiletries, clothing and cash which will further help to improve their lives.

"We will assess what they need most and how they have benefited from being on the programme of care provided by FOCC thus far," she said.


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Children from Chernobyl usually visit Crow country every year, staying with host families and embarking on a program of events in the area designed not only to be enjoyable but also to improve their health.

During the children's last visit, in 2007, one of their number, Vlad Bonich, underwent life-saving surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

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However, they were unable to return to the UK last year.

Nicola explained: "Since a child failed to return to Belarus from a visit to America all recuperative visits have been banned. This has meant that our children missed their visit last September.

"The children's month long stay in the UK has now been planned for 21 June - 19 July this year,

"We are hopeful that an agreement will finally be reached between the UK and Belarus by then," she said.

Ahead of their trip, the volunteers are appealing for donations of cash and supplies to take with them.

Nicola said: "We would like any donations of lightweight supplies or basic medicines such as paracetamol and toiletries that we could take to the children we help, all of whom have been carefully selected to be on the programme because of the desperate situation they find themselves in.

"Any unwanted euros or dollars would also be much appreciated, as both can be used in Belarus."

Anyone who can offer assistance should contact Nicola on 01763 220651 or via the Friends of Chernobyl's Children website, www.focc.org.uk

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