Childrens Charity Christmas Appeal Down by 75%

A leading charity which brings children from Chernobyl-hit regions to Ireland has reveleaed that its Christmas appeal had raised only 25% of what it raised last year and that it urgently requires funding to continue its work.

More than 80 young visitors from areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia most devastated by the nuclear disaster will spend Christmas with families in towns around the country.

But Chernobyl Children’s Project chief executive Adi Roche said while support for up to 200,000 children and adults cost €2.5 million to fund, the charity saw its Christmas appeal drop by 75 per cent.

“Their being here is a reminder of how Irish people from all corners of the country can offer hope and love to vulnerable children,” she said.

“In the current climate, it is easy to be despondent and wonder if we have enough for our own, but people have reached out to those beyond Ireland and have shown that the true spirit of Christmas is about giving.”

The group, some of whom were leaving Belarus for the first time, are being greeted by Ms Roche and host families as they arrive in Dublin airport today.

The children are part of the project’s long-term care programme which takes those with chronic Chernobyl-related illnesses abroad for vital medical treatment.

Several hundred children have benefited from the care programme since its establishment in the early 1990s.


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