After several delays and setbacks due to COVID19 restrictions, and shipping difficulties at the start of the year due to Brexit, a container of humanitarian aid is finally on its way to Chernobyl/Belarus!
Huge efforts were made in the weeks leading up to Christmas to get an urgently needed consignment of medical supplies, PPE, nappies, food, medical equipment, sanitary products and “Santa Clause” gifts for orphaned children to Belarus but this eventually proved to be impossible.
Since then, negotiations have continued with transport and shipping companies in Ireland and with health authorities in Belarus and the green light has finally been given to allow the consignment to travel and arrive at Chernobyl Children International’s flagship children’s institution, Vesnova, by Valentine’s Day.
The container arrived in Kilkenny earlier this week and was packed and loaded carefully by stalwart CCI volunteer Jim Kavanagh and his son, Jim Bob. All safety precautions were taken, and all health guidelines were followed to ensure the container was packed safely, and it is now making its way to Chernobyl/Belarus.
Speaking on the good news, CCI voluntary CEO, Adi Roche, said ‘this container of aid is the ultimate gift of love and will arrive to the families and Chernobyl children in time for Valentine’s day! This container of essential humanitarian aid is ‘love in action’! We are sending a message of hope for the children and letting them know that they are not forgotten.’
It is almost one full year since we have seen our beloved children, and for them, it very difficult to understand why they have not seen their Irish friends in such a long time. This much needed aid will let the children know that we are still thinking of them and will ensure that they are cared for and have everything they need to remain safe and well throughout the remainder of this Pandemic. The aid will be distributed to Vesnova, as well as other institutions and day care centres across Belarus.
Although the container did not arrive in time for Christmas as we had hoped, we did deliver our promise on giving the children of Chernobyl the best alternative Christmas experience. Every effort was made by our team in Belarus to give the children a wonderful and special Christmas, and to ensure that the children know that hope is STILL alive, and they are not forgotten by their Irish families.
Adi Roche continued, ‘this has been a tumultuous 12 months and we are thrilled that we finally have some good news with this this badly needed aid finally making its way to Belarus. We are grateful that the Children of Chernobyl remain safe and are being looked after by our wonderful teams in Belarus. This aid will ensure that the children receive the best possible care during this difficult time.’