Chernobyl charity looking for host families in county

A previous trip organised by the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.
A previous trip organised by the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.
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The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is looking for families in Northumberland to act as hosts to welcome the children – they come in pairs to keep each other company – into their family home for the month.

In 1992, the charity was founded by Victor Mizzi with the aims of the charity being to help the children of Belarus and Ukraine whose lives are still affected by the legacy of the Chernobyl disaster.

Every summer, with the support of the charity, a group of children are brought over to the county to stay with volunteer hosts for a month’s respite from the pollution.

Once they have settled in, the group go out on fun excursions, but are also taken for dental treatment and eye tests which they rarely have in their own country.

Northumberland host Sue Mahoney said: “Seeing their little faces light up when they see the seaside for the first time is truly remarkable and leaves a lasting memory for the host family. The children take these memories with them to their own families back home.”

Contact Neil on 01890 820560 or Sue on 07900 316318.

One of the big benefits for the children returning home from respite breaks is that their immune systems have had a chance to recover and are boosted with our clean air. It is believed that this can protect them for up to three years.

The children are aged between nine and 12 and only speak Russian, however, the group has an interpreter who is contactable 24 hours a day. The children also like to communicate using the internet and translation apps so they can get the best out of their holiday too.

In addition, the group of hosts often share looking after the children and support each other throughout the stay.