Young people from the Chernobyl Children’s Project have been welcomed to the borough by the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis.
The twelve youngsters are from areas in Belarus which were badly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. They are in remission from various forms of cancer and have attended the main children’s cancer hospital in Minsk.
The Solihull branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Project arranges for the children, aged 13-15, to stay in Solihull for a four-week recuperative break. They stay in pairs with host families for two weeks, followed by two weeks together in a residential school. The aim is to provide them with a holiday of a lifetime, during which they enjoy fresh air and healthy food which helps to repair their damaged immune systems.
They also enjoy activities and trips to many destinations in the region, while experiencing British culture and making memories for life. So far they have visited Kingsbury Water Park, Stratford Butterfly Farm, Shustoke Sailing Club, learnt how to play tennis and go swimming.
The young people met the Mayor in the Council’s Civic Suite and through an interpreter he was able to give them an overview of the workings of the Council. They were also shown around the Council Chamber and enjoyed a visit to the Mayor’s Parlour.
The Mayor said: “Through no fault of their own these children have to suffer the long term effects of living in a radioactive environment. It has been a pleasure to welcome them to Solihull so that they can enjoy a much-needed holiday.
“I would like to thank the Chernobyl Children’s Project and the volunteers for their hard work in enabling this trip to happen, and the wonderful experiences they have arranged for the children.”
It is now 31 years since the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station exploded in northern Ukraine. Contamination spread across Europe, but most fell in Belarus.
To find out more about hosting or the work of the Chernobyl Children's Project visit www.facebook.com/chernobylchildrensprojectsolihull