Usually at this time of year, the CCI team would be preparing for the wonderful Rose of Tralee Trip to Belarus, where an International group of Roses and Escorts travel to Belarus to volunteer with Chernobyl Children in an ‘Alternatives to Orphanages’ (De-institutionalisation) Programme, in CCI’s flagship children’s institution, Vesnova. Sadly, due to the ongoing COVID19 Pandemic and travel restrictions, there will be no Rose of Tralee trip this year.
Last February, Rose of Tralee and frontline worker Dr Sinéad Flanagan, along with her fellow Roses and Escorts travelled to Belarus to volunteer with CCI’s De- institutionalisation Programme in Vesnova. Sinead, who hails from Limerick, was crowned Rose of Tralee in 2019 and has been a fantastic ambassador for the festival. As the Rose of Tralee Festival was cancelled in for the first time in 61 years in 2020 due to COVID19, Sinead remains the crowned Rose of Tralee, while also continuing her work as a doctor on the frontline in the fight against COVID19.
CCI is absolutely committed to the De-institutionalisation of children and young adults who incarcerated in bleak institutions and segregated from society. Each year, many of the Roses and Escorts have medical, nursing, special needs assistance, psychology and teaching skills which allows them to make an important contribution to the work which is being carried out in the CCI supported Vesnova Children’s Mental Institution.
The talented teams of young women and men use their professional skills to work alongside Vesnova’s permanent staff to stimulate the children and to support the staff with the rehabilitative work to improve the quality of the children’s lives.
CCI Voluntary CEO Adi Roche paid tribute to all the groups that have taken time out of their busy schedules to volunteer over the years; “For the past decade, Chernobyl Children International have been so blessed by the immeasurable contributions of the Roses and Escorts. These trips not only provide support to the staff team in the institution, but also much needed love and attention to the wonderful children residing in Vesnova’.