Community Service/ 2019 Chernobyl Children Welcome

We support the Essex Branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line for the sixth year in a row, as they host twelve children from Ukraine in the Billericay Area for four weeks respite and fun.

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Following the nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986, over 33 years ago, large areas of Ukraine were contaminated by the radiation from Chernobyl.  Once again, the Essex Branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line brought twelve children from Ukraine to the Billericay Area for four weeks and entertained them throughout the visit.

Although they live outside the exclusion zone, it has been calculated that each visit of four weeks these innocent children another two years of life!

For the last six years, the Rotary Club of Billericay has supported this group by funding selected excursions during the four week stay.   This year it is the trip to Rope Runners and to Thriftwood Scout Camp.

Six boys and six girls, all around nine or ten years of age make up the party, accompanied yet again by their leader Svitlana Sakahanda who travelled here with the children. 

Thank you so much

Great Welcome

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 took place at Stockbrook Nursery on Friday June 21, for the children, the hosting families and the sponsors.  The club was represented by Immediate Past President Peter Greene.

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.   Finally a choice of doughnuts to tempt us all.

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.