One of the fund-raising stalls at the Andover Carnival was Chernobyl's Childrens' Lifeline. The Andover branch of this national charity is run by Joan Parsonage.
"We tend to forget that children are still suffering from the after-effects of the 1986 disaster, and they and their parents need recuperative breaks. I commend Joan for the work she is doing - see below - and if anyone is interested in hosting childen on future visits, they should contact her on 01264 398049
Extract from Lifeline Literature.
Chernobyl is in the Ukraine and on April 26th 1986 the Nuclear Power Station blew up. The wind blew north and a considerable part of Belarus, with a population of 2.2 million, was contaminated by radio-activity.
Chernobyl Childrens LifeLine.
Our main aim is to bring children affected by the Chernobyl disaster to the United Kingdom for a recuperative break - over 21,000 children have been brought over since 1992.
The Andover Link
The Andover Link was started in 1997 and we have raised enough money to bring 160 children to this area. We host groups of 10 children who stay with us for a month. Each group is accompanied by an adult interpreter. We usually host groups in February, June/July and September/October.
We are looking for Host families who live in this area to look after 1 or 2 children for 4 weeks. The children are here for their health, therefore do not need to be taken out and amused the whole time. It does not matter if you work as there are always people who can look after the children during the day. The children are aged between 10 and 14. All the children come from loving families who are really grateful that their child is being given the chance to gain a healthier life just from this one visit. The children are very excited at the chance to come to this country and are also ready to go home to their families at the end of the month.
All the children who travel to this country are examined by a doctor to ensure they are medically fit for their stay.
To host is a great experience for all your family. It is not only the Bellarussian children who benefit from the contact, we all make new friends and have a good time. You can really make a difference, and you see the difference you make.