Appeal to find sponsors for charity
PUBLISHED: 08:45 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 29 January 2018
A charity which brings children affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to Norfolk every summer is appealing for families and businesses to sponsor a child.
Set up in 2001, every summer the Diss branch of the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children charity (FOCC) hosts a group of disadvantaged children from areas of Belarus which have been badly contaminated by the fallout of the Chernobyl explosion.
The aim of the trip is to improve the children’s general health and wellbeing, as the area of Belarus where the children live still struggles with contaminated food and water as a result of the 1986 disaster.
The children aged seven to 11, generally visit for five consecutive years before more children are given the opportunity to visit. During the month-long stay the charity organises day trips, activities and provides the youngsters with basic medical checks such as dentist appointments and visits to an optician.
Kirsty Neve, the branch co-ordinator, explained the difference the trip makes to the children: “We see such a change in the children, you can see it in their general health, the difference in those four weeks is amazing.
“They come from very poor families, and who are doing the best they can but they are very disadvantaged children.
“One year we had a child who had never had a banana or an orange before, we got through so much fruit that month.
“They just do not get the chance to do the things we take for granted.”
Mrs Neve explained how she had been blown away with the generosity of local services, businesses and the families who each summer go out of their way to accommodate the children.
But she said that funding the project was still hard: “We are all struggling for money but what we would love to do is for people or a company to sponsor a child, or help provide transport, such as a minibus.”
After the cost of flights and visas, it currently costs £700 to bring each child to Norfolk for a month.
Anyone interested sponsoring a child or being involved in the charity should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FOCC Diss and District Facebook page.