Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline & Charity Shop
On 28th December we were up at 4:30 am to travel to Gatwick with the group of children who had been with us for the December visit.
The children were obviously looking forward to seeing their families again but they were also really pleased to learn that we would be travelling with them. There had been lots of fun and great enjoyment during the month, both for the visiting children and the families who hosted them. The children enjoyed everything, no matter how small and each new experience was greeted with appreciation and delight. These children came from some of the poorest families and I am sure we have given them memories that will last a lifetime.
On arrival in Belarus the children went on their way home and we began our 5 hour drive to Stolin for our Father Frost Christmas present delivery program. This was a very long and sometimes stressful 9 days but all 300 presents were successfully delivered and an additional party held for children we could not reach from outlying areas. After the party one 14 year old girl went to “Santa” and said, this is the best day I have ever had in my life, thank you so much for all the fun” We not only visited many families in their homes but also three different hospitals and two Social Shelters. Traditionally children may receive a box of sweets at Christmas and obviously for organisations that donate gifts this is the easiest option. However, we were told time and time again by children, parents and hospital Doctors and Administrators that receiving a Christmas Stocking full of presents had made the children so happy, it was something they had never experienced and would give them a “forever” memory so that in itself made all the hard work worthwhile.
This year the children will come from a totally new area, with new interpreters so it will mean changes for all of us. We are also hoping to form a relationship with the Social Shelter in the area and provide specific support to this facility in the future
It is not possible to detail our journey in this short article but a full write up will go out by email to all of those who subscribe to our mailing list and further details will be posted on Facebook. Please do get in touch if you would like to receive email updates.
We are now looking towards the summer group visit and will be confirming the list of Host families within the next few weeks so if you have not already registered your interest please do so as soon as possible.
We are very aware that there are now more Charitable causes than ever all needing support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports us, you may think you only do a little but without you we could not survive.