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Home to one of the world’s worst and most infamous nuclear accidents, Chernobyl is still heavily contaminated, despite the fact that a small number of people are now allowed into the area for a limited At the welcome BBQ amount of time. The notorious accident caused over 6 million people to be exposed to radiation, and estimates as to the number of deaths that will eventually occur due to the Chernobyl accident range from 4,000 to as high as 93,000. The accident released 100 times more radiation received than the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs. Belarus absorbed 70 percent of the radiation fallout, and its citizens have been dealing with increased cancer incidence ever since. Even today, the word Chernobyl conjures up horrifying images of human suffering. The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line is a U.K. Charity founded in 1991 to help the children of Belarus and Ukraine. There are now around 130 Links throughout the country who raise funds to bring groups of children to the UK for respite care (approx 3,000 children every year). The Links are all run by volunteers, all of their fund raising goes towards bringing groups of children to the UK for health and recuperation holidays. Chris and Janice Broome from Bonsall formed the Bonsall link with the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line in December 2002. Chris became involved when he joined a delegation in Minsk helping them manage their environment. On Chris’s return to England as he boarded the plane he was amazed to see that most of the passengers on board the plane were Belerusian children, they were travelling to England for a holiday. He became intrigued and on his return contacted the Chairman of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line and was persuaded to set up a link in the Bonsall area. He is now the Link chairman and has visited Belarus on many occasions to see for himself the current situation over there and to meet the families of the children. Their aim is to bring between 10-20 children from Belarus to the Derbyshire Dales area every summer for a months holiday. The children are invited from towns and villages and are mostly aged between 9-12 years. They come with a leader who can often be an English teacher from the children’s school. There aim is to help these children by boosting their immune systems and offering them respite, from the relentless bombardment of radiation in their their environment and the food they have to grow and eat. A month staying with families here, eating ‘clean’ and nourishing food and drink and breathing clean air can really make a difference to their health and even increasing their life expectancy.

The Bonsall Link are looking for host and support families for the children visiting in the summer of 2015, from mid July to mid August, it is a very rewarding experience. There is a network of support for host families—you would not be on your own. For at least three days a week the children participate in group activities organised on their behalf. Host and support families are encouraged to accompany children on these outings. An English speaking Belarusian interpreter/ Having a great time at the seaside leader will also accompany the group should there be any language difficulties, and will be on hand 24 hours a day to assist with any concerns host families may have.

We Need Volunteer Host Families & Support Families: Families that help the children have a great time whilst in the UK fall into two categories: A family that can host two children for either two or four weeks during the summer; A support family who may be unable to host but can provide assistance to hosting families. Host families welcome children into their homes as part of their own family. Over the years many hosts have acquired "extended families" as contact is maintained over the years with children that have stayed with them. Some hosts get very attached to the children and pay for them to return to the UK on a private basis, once again arranged through the charity.

Help With Fundraising The simple truth about running a charity as active as the Chernobyl Children's Life Line is that we are continually fund raising to finance the children's visits. It costs over £400 in air fares and UK Visas to get each child here and to pay for their activities here. Please consider giving a Chernobyl child a chance, Chris and Janice would be happy to provide you with more information. They would be equally pleased to give a presentation/ talk to organisations that you’re a member of or to schools in the local area. Regular informal meetings are held in Bonsall to plan the children’s visit and to organise fund raising events etc.

Contact Chris Broome on 01629 824512 or email or visit the national web site to find out more.

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June July 2014  

The Dales Directory

June July 2014  

The Dales Directory