Sometimes, it takes just two hands to take away the pain and fear.
Chernobyl Children International (CCI) was formally established by Adi Roche in 1991 to give support and hope to children living in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.
On the 26th of April 1986 Chernobyl was the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster when an explosion at a newly built nuclear power plant unleashed 200 times more radioactivity than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs and affected forever the lives of 7 million people. That explosion released just 3% of the radioactive material in the Chernobyl reactor into the atmosphere; the remaining 97% , contained only by a deteriorating concrete shell, remains inside the damaged reactor and continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous “ticking time-bombs”.
CCI’s medical care programme in Children’s Institutions has transformed the approach to the care of children in Belarus. As well as significantly improving the quality of life and medical care for the children, the programme provides employment and skills training to more than 20 health professionals and nurses on staff who dedicate their lives to working with 170 incarcerated children in an institution.
Cardiac Programme, Kharkiv Ukraine
Four-year-old Artem has come a long way in a year!
War refugee Artem received lifesaving open-heart surgery in December as part of our Flying Doctors Cardiac Mission. He has already made a strong recovery. The past year has seen great changes in Artems life, from a desolate orphan wandering a war torn country to having a fully functioning new heart and a new, safe, loving home. This is Artem’s story.
The Outreach Volunteer
Trina, a volunteer from Dublin, became involved with Chernobyl Children International after seeing a documentary on RTE about the effects of the disaster on the area’s children. She emailed the head office to see what she could do to help, and found herself taking a lead role in fundraising and organising Rest and Recuperation holidays for Belarusian children.
After a few years of volunteering, Trina had the opportunity to visit Belarus and see for herself the communities her fundraising and volunteering efforts had helped.
The Bee Keepers
Ninety-nine percent of the land in Belarus has been contaminated to above internationally acceptable levels as a result of the Chernobyl explosion. The contamination will not fade: plutonium, one of the radioactive elements released, has a half-life of 24,400 years.
The original 30-kilometre contaminated exclusion zone has now been expanded to 70 kilometres. This expanded zone is called ‘Death Valley’ by the locals. It is the world’s most radioactive environment, in which 2,000 towns and villages will lie eerily silent and uninhabited forever.
Community Care Programme, Belarus
Lida and Nadezha
Nadezhda was 19 years old, single, and had just given birth to a seriously disabled girl. When the authorities took Lida away from her, she started a six year “war” to get her daughter back. And Chernobyl Children International was there to help.
Today Lida is 8 years old and lives in one bedroom of a two bedroom flat in Minsk, Belarus. Mother and daughter share quarters with her grandmother, two aunts, and a cousin. Nadezhda compresses Lida’s chest so that she can suction out mucus.
Nursing Programmes - Vesnova
Dasha and Tatiana
“I’m not a complainer. That’s pointless. But it seems like nothing is ever easy for us.” Tatiana looks down at her 11 year old daughter, Dasha, who is following our movements with a big smile and wide blue eyes. Dasha has cerebral palsy, and is intellectually disabled.
She lives with her mother and father, her grandmother, and her young twin sisters in Minsk, Belarus. She is part of Chernobyl Children International’s Community Care program.
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