Belarusian children enjoy break from Chernobyl fallout by having a summer holiday in Cirencester
A GROUP of Belarusian schoolchildren who have to live in the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster have spent the summer in Cirencester enjoying the Cotswold way of life.
Although the children come over here for a well-deserved holiday, the trip will have a massive impact on their health.
Becky Hopkins, chairman of the Cirencester Link of Chernobyl Children’s Life Line, said: “It is amazing to see the health benefits of being here and away from the low level radiation that they have in their region.
“When they come here their hair is coarse and there is very little colour on their skin but when they leave their skin has a really lovely glow.”
It is thought that just four weeks of breathing in the Cotswold air can improve the children’s immune system and add two years on to their life expectancy.
As well as enjoying many of the area’s most popular attractions, the kids also paid a visit to local opticians and dentists – something that isn’t easily accessible in Belarus.
“It is very expensive,” said Becky. “The average wage there is between £15 and £30 a month. A rich person’s wage would be somewhere between £150 and £200 a month.”
Although the annual visit has been happening for many years, Becky fears that without continued funding the holidays would simply stop.
She said: “The UK is the only country that charges the children for their visas. With airport costs, it becomes really expensive.
“We just couldn’t continue without the fundraising. We do lots of sponsored events throughout the year but we need one large events to really break the back of funding next year’s trip.”
Anyone interested in fundraising or becoming a host family for the children should ring Becky on 07910695959.
Comments are closed on this article.