Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline & Charity Shop Update

I hope you are well and are coping in the current situation. We are all going through times and events, which even a couple of month ago would have been considered as a Science Fiction movie. Thousands of very dedicated key workers supported by an army of volunteers are doing their best to support and help those who are in need; the NHS and other services are working very hard often putting the patient’s needs above their personal protection or comfort. We are sincerely grateful for their dedication.

Our Charity exists to help those who are still adversely affected by a similar set of events going back 34 years ago starting from 26th April 1986 but for many of them there was never an exit from their “lock down”. They had to learn to live in a new way often referring to times before and after Chernobyl. This is why they truly value and appreciate your kind and generous wish to help them look after their future – their children.

In addition to Chernobyl related problems many of the communities in Belarus and Ukraine have to face Covid-19 together with bush and forest fires some of which are within less than 2 miles of the Chernobyl Reactor. These fires are ongoing and started some time ago and yet very little is mentioned about them outside of Belarus and Ukraine. The fires are burning in highly contaminated areas releasing contamination and engulfing vast territories into huge smog. Some of the areas lost part of or complete villages to the fires and it’s not over yet. They haven’t seen rain for over a month and the prospects don’t look good. For all of us this is a very difficult time, for them it brings a terrible feeling of déjà vu, they feel once more they are living in a nightmare, shut off from the outside world.

There is no comparable NHS in Belarus and nowhere near the network of support services that we in the UK are privileged to have the benefit of.
Despite this and the problems they are living with I am receiving daily messages from the parents of children who have been to the UK and their messages are to ask how the families are who have hosted their children, to say they are worried about us in the UK, think of us often and “please tell us the news that everyone is ok”. They live in a very closed society and the only news they received is state controlled. Those of you who have hosted the children and those who have been to Belarus and met the families understand how much our support is needed and how much it means to them. We may not be able to bring the children but with your help there are ways that we can help them in Belarus. The families are trying their best to cope with very limited, and in some cases non existent resources.

Our Charity will not qualify for any of the advertised aid for small Charities. We are a registered UK Charity but, like so many others, because we are not a “frontline community” organisation we do not qualify . With your donations we can arrange financial help for those most in need. There were 18 children coming from the poorest of families to Mid Suffolk this July. They will no longer be travelling – we will no longer be providing the support they were looking forward to. Please – help us to help them and let them know they are not forgotten.

Charity starts at home and current needs of the NHS are presently very close to everyone’s heart, however I am aware that you also have a place for children of Belarus in your big hearts! These people are having to cope with their problems with the very limited resources they have available to them.

Please visit our just giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ccll-mid-suffolk – anything you can give will mean so much to so many.

Thank you,
Elizabeth Parker
Link Chair
01449 760343 / [email protected]

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