In 2018 the Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link of the Chernobyl Children Life Line continued their help to the unfortunate child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster with another group of 21 visitors to our area. The visiting group of 21 this year consisted of 2 boys and 18 girls with their leader interpreter.
During their time with us they had dental and optical checks done by local dentists and opticians who volunteered their time and the children along with their host families went on many visits around our region. This year the group set another milestone in their history by passing the 500 mark of visitors they have been able to bring to our area for respite. Although more than 30 years ago the problems from the radio active fallout left by the disaster still persists today with most of the population suffering in some way.
Unfortunately young children are so vulnerable, and living in such a severely contaminated environment every day, will inevitably cause them health problems, whether breathing the contaminated dust, eating the food grown on contaminated land or ingesting it in some other way. There is little or no choice and no escape from this invisible enemy as it lies on the land they live and grow their food on, slowly breaking down, taking not only decades but thousands of years before things get anything near to `normal`, but that’s not taking into consideration the long term effects on the populations gene pool or the environment.
No one knows the long term effects these radioactive isotopes will have, hence the disaster being labelled `the worlds biggest experiment`, and as such the world sits back watching and waiting for the changes to take place in the hope they will learn from this should such an horrific nuclear disaster happen again.
Although little can be done to reduce the effect of this widespread contamination the Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link of the Chernobyl Children Life Line have been giving hope to hundreds of unfortunate children who are all desperate to get away from the nuclear contamination for respite and a convalescing break.
For the past 23 years the Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link has raised the money to pay the travel costs for the children to come for a one month stay in our area. Whilst here the children stay with volunteer host families in their own homes enjoying a happy family environment whilst also having the benefits of eating a healthy diet of fresh food and breathing clean uncontaminated air, all in an effort to rejuvenate their much depleted immune systems. Whilst here, the children also receive dental checks and treatment along with eye tests where necessary.
The remainder of their time is spent with the family and the group visiting local places of interest or other organised events. Most of the children have had very little and just enjoy the friendship and hospitality of their new host family. All the hosts and their children mix together as one and support each other making one big family. At the end of their stay the children return home with a much rejuvenated immune system, improved health and many wonderful and exciting memories of the time they spent with their wonderful host family.
To enable us to give these children this wonderful opportunity in their lives the Chernobyl Children Life Line needs to find more volunteer host families who are able to open their hearts and their homes to give one of these unfortunate children, their opportunity of a lifetime.
Our group consists of very ordinary people from different backgrounds and you don’t have to be different, special or wealthy to host these unfortunate children. The children are various ages and are boys or girls to fit in with the family circumstances and each group is accompanied with a leader / translator in the event of any language difficulties. The whole experience is morally very rewarding and enjoyable for all those who take part. So if you think you could offer a child the opportunity of a lifetime and enjoy yourself at the same time why not consider hosting one of our children this summer.