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CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR DISASTER CHILD A RINGING SUCCESS AT KINVER ROTARY CLUB


By Ian Maddock - Posted on 29 August 2012

Andrei brings Kinver Rotary Club to order.

The highlight of Andrei Buiko’s 10th birthday, spent hundreds of miles away from his home in the Grodno region of Belorussia, was to ring the bell to call members of Rotary Club to order when he visited the club as part of a month-long visit to the U.K. organised by a charity that supports children suffering as a result of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl 26 years ago.

Along with his friend Dima Khabian (9), Andrei is staying at the home of Ann Becke, who has run the local branch of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line for the past 18 years.

She visited the Kinver Rotary Club with the lads, and 17-year-old interpreter Dasha Unhur, to receive a cheque for £450, the latest donation from the club following a recent skittles evening, towards the £10,000 Ann needs to raise annually to bring a group of about 25 boys and girls aged 9 - 11 to the Kinver area.

They are living with host families in Kinver, Enville, Wollaston, Wolverhampton and Halesowen, and have visited Dudley Zoo, Close to the Edge assault course in Baggeridge Park, Camp farm in Enville, the Police Dog Training Centre, and Warwick Castle among other attractions. They have also visited an optician who gives his services free of charge and local dentists to help to counter the effects of the radiation they ingest in the food in their native country.

Ann says: “Having visited Belorussia twice I have seen at first hand the social conditions in the country and have met medical authorities who appreciate the educational benefits the youngsters derive from visiting a country like Britain as well as the health benefits – it has been ascertained that a month out of the radiation-affected region improves the childrens’ immune system for up to two years.”

She admits that her work for the charity takes up every minute of her spare time, not just raising the funds to pay for air and coach fares, but also pulling in sponsorship for activities while the youngsters are in the Kinver area, and collecting clothing and vitamins that are greatly appreciated by the youngsters – and their parents.

The children, who can only visit the U.K. through the scheme once are selected by the charity’s volunteers and staff in Belorussia.

Mike Deathridge

    Picture shows (left to right) John Gillett, Chairman of Kinver Rotary Club’s International Committee, Dima Khabian, Ann Becke, Dasha Unhur, Andrei Buiko and Rotary Club President John Brown.    

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