Community Service/ Chernobyl Children's Life Line 2018 Welcome

We continue to sponsor events for the children visiting from the Ukraine, who have been affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster. Four weeks here equals two more years of Life!

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Ukraine To Billericay - Making  A Difference

It’s that time of year again when Billericay Branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line brings twelve children from Belarus or Ukraine to the Billericay Area for four weeks and entertains them throughout the visit.  Why?  Because they live in the areas of Belarus and Ukraine where the population’s lives were forever changed by nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986, over 32 years ago.

Extending Their Lives!

Although they live outside the exclusion zone, these innocent children live in areas contaminated by the radiation from Chernobyl.  It has been calculated that each visit of four weeks gives the children another two years of life!

For the last five years, the Rotary Club of Billericay has supported this group by funding selected excursions during the four week stay.   This year it is the Bowling on June 25, the trip to Rope Runners on July 2, and the Monkey Puzzle on July 6.

The children on this trip all come from the Borodyanka region of Ukraine, selected to come because they have been identified as those most in need by community workers in the region. Six boys and six girls, all around nine or ten years of age.  This year’s leader is again Svitlana Sakahanda who travelled here with the children.  A full Programme awaited the children while they are here.

A Full Programme

Each year, and this is no exception, the visit is not only a schedule of fun for the kids, but also an opportunity to pick out clothes for themselves and their siblings, generously donated by supporters of the charity, plus visits to the Dentist and the Opticians.  The children come from poor families, which may mean that a visit to the dentist or optician is not possible.  With the eye tests, fillings and extractions out of the way, the remaining programme is full of fun and adventure. They will have PLENTY of stories to tell their families, friends and schoolmates back in Ukraine.

We started off by joining the “Welcome Party and Barbecue”, which takes place at Stockbrook Nursery on Friday June 15, for the children, the hosting families and the sponsors.  The club was represented by President Peter Greene and President Elect Les Sheppard.

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

The evening starts with the children having the run of the play areas bouncing away on the trampolines, hurtling along the aerial zip-wire, or using the bouncy castle or climbing nets. These are young children, so communication with their hosts’ children is a challenge, but somehow, they manage!

The fun is followed by the barbecue and a choice of hamburgers and hot-dogs (and vegetarian alternatives) as well as the healthier option of salads.  Seconds?  You bet?  Soon almost all the food was gone.  Finally a choice of desserts to tempt everybody’s sweet tooth.

A final run on the trampolines and other equipment and it was time to go home.
What a great time was had by all.  We wish all the children the best for the future.

We’ll add reports on the Bowling, Rope Runners Monkey Puzzle and Farewell party next month.