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News: 27 Jun 2023

Respite Summer camps for Chernobyl children of the warzone funded by Irish charity.

27 Jun 2023

• Children aged between 6-12 living in the Chernobyl affected regions, to be given a ‘safe haven’ in the Carpathian Mountains, away from the warzone and drought ridden areas.
• The camps are specially designed for children of war who are suffering from PTSD, shock, trauma, anxiety, and all other consequences of living in a warzone.

In the midst of the raging war in Ukraine, for the second year in a row, Irish humanitarian organisation Chernobyl Children International (CCI) are spearheading an initiative to provide children on the frontline of the Ukrainian war with vital rest and recuperation in their homeland.

Children in the Chernobyl zone are facing a double tragedy; firstly, from the physical battle in the their Ukrainian homeland, and the subsequent exposure to a detrimental elevation to the levels of the ‘invisible war’ of radiation.

The children who are attending the camps have been supported by CCI throughout the academic year, as they have been provided with CCI funded nutritious meals at school, which is their only way of accessing hot food. They will travel from their home in the Radynka region to a safe Summer Camp in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains, which is equipped with a bomb shelter and 24/7 security to protect the children from any possible attacks.

CCI believes it is better, where possible, to facilitate respite for children within their own home country that rather than displacing children even further. This is to prevent additional trauma caused by long journeys to foreign countries far away from their families at a time of war. Many children have family members fighting in the war, with some whose parents have died on the front line, while others have lost their homes. The children’s hometown of Radynka has been largely overlooked by media and aid communities, despite being one of their earliest impacted by the devastating war. It now faces water shortages and potential drought following the explosion of Nova Khakhovka dam in early June, which will likely leave a lasting impact on environment and agriculture for decades.

At the camp, the children will be treated to an array of exciting activities and games, including camping trips, hikes, wilderness exploration and master cooking classes of local dishes. There is a psychologist and doctor on site who will examine the children, as well as two social workers.

Speaking about this initiative, which is in its second year, CCI’s Voluntary CEO, Adi Roche, said:
“Children of the area are suffering immensely from the trauma and anxiety caused by the Russian Invasion, the soaring levels of radioactivity in the region and the consequences of the Nova Khakovka dam disaster.”

“The children are facing psychological trauma, with many diagnosed with PTSD, and urgently need respite. CCI funded this sanctuary to allow the children to restore their lost, broken, and stolen childhoods. Children attending these camps have the chance to be children; to laugh, play, make friends, and just LIVE without fear…a safe haven in which to share their grief, hurt, and pain.“