A team of volunteers from the Foyle and Inishowen branch of Chernobyl Children International (CCI) who travelled to the Vesnova Children’s Institution in Belarus earlier this year, expressed heartfelt thanks to the people of the Northwest for their generosity in helping to make the trip a success.
Siobhán McNally and John Mc Eleney, both from Fahan, and Patsy McLaughlin from the Paddocks in Derry made the long journey from Derry to Vesnova, which is situated 170km from Chernobyl, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Siobhán, a learning disability nurse for nearly 40 years said that while the standard of care at Vesnova is improving, it still needs to progress more.
“The joy and pleasure we got from working with these children was tempered by the harsh reality of the grossly underfunded service. Visiting Vesnova made me really appreciate how enlightened and progressive learning disability services are in Northern Ireland,” she said.
CCI Outreach Group leader Emma Hunt, from the Waterside area of Derry, who also travelled with the group said, “When working at Vesnova you wear the CCI t-shirt with the logo on it. The children know that they will receive warmth, empathy, kindness and a lot of fun. The kids there have been given a bad hand in life yet they have overcome this in the way most wouldn’t through not giving up on love, hopes and dreams.”
For more information or if you would like to make a donation visit www.chernobyl-international.com or call 021-4558774