Following the accident at Chernobyl in April 1986, the former Soviet republic of Belarus received 70% of the radioactive fall-out caused by the explosion. The result was contamination 90 times greater than that of Hiroshima.
More than 2 million people, including hundreds of thousands of children are still living in these contaminated areas. Since the disaster, childhood cancer of the thyroid has increased dramatically; children also suffer from stomach disorders and many children have been born with genetic disorders as a consequence of the radiation suffered by their parents.
Chernobyl Newsround Extra report1
Chernobyl Newsround Extra report2
Studies have shown that a child removed from the contaminated areas for one month’s respite care, and provided with proper nutrition, suffers fewer ailments during the winter months and has a strengthened immune systems. This helps to minimise the physical and psychological effects of radiation exposure.
We typically host children within families for four weeks during the summer months, organising cultural, educational and fun trips and activities for them The host families find the experience just as rewarding as the children, and sometimes life-long friendships are forged. Click here to find out how you can help.