Irish Charity Launches €15m Appeal
Less than 18 months after stating on television that she might have to sell her house to fund Chernobyl Children International, Adi Roche announced yesterday that the charity planned a €15 million expansion of programmes.
“We have an annual budget of €2.5 million and at the time we were short €500,000, but people really rallied and we managed to raise it all through public funding,” the charity’s chief executive said.
"98 per cent of our funding is from the public, to do this we need people to donate even small amounts”
Yesterday, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ms Roche unveiled what she called an “ambitious programme” for the next five years.
This includes building 20 new foster homes in Belarus, providing funding for 50 cardiac doctor missions and opening a new daycare centre to help up to 60,000 rural Belarusians.
“We are launching an appeal today – 98 per cent of our funding is from the public, to do this we need people to donate even small amounts,” said Ms Roche. “Our greatest asset has always been in the hearts of the Irish people.”
Belarusian scientist Alexei Nesterenko briefed Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore yesterday about the continuing dangers posed by the Chernobyl disaster.
“The next Chernobyl will be Chernobyl itself if the global community does not comprehensively secure the site,” he said.
Dr Nesterenko warned that food in highly radiated Chernobyl zones was still being produced for human consumption and that the level of damage caused to the food chain remained unclear.
Meanwhile, in a ceremony in Cork yesterday, a local woman was bestowed with Ukraine’s highest humanitarian honour for her charity work in aid of Chernobyl. Fiona Corcoran, founder of the Greater Chernobyl Cause, was given honorary membership of the Order of Princess Olga by Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland Sergei Reva.
Visit the Chernobyl International website for further information.
(source: Irish Times)