A month of love
"The children arrived pale faced, under-nourished, shabbily-dressed and carrying small plastic shopping bags with basic belongings. Some children arrived completely empty handed after the very long journey from Belarus.”
Every year, hundreds of children visit the UK from Belarus to receive recuperative care in the form of healthcare, leisure, educational
activities, nutrition and the care of a kind host family. We call it ‘a month of love'.
Love, health, stability
Host families provide a stable environment for the children, some of whom are as young as seven, helping them to adjust to the strangeness of being in a foreign country. For many, it is their first real experience of living in a normal loving home. The children stay with their UK family for a month where they’re fed nutritious meals, given daily vitamin supplements and provided with clean clothes (supplied by FOCC) along with plenty of love and care.
Each group of children who travel to the UK do so with two interpreters (usually school teachers who teach English language in Belarus) who are available at all times to help both the children and the families over the four week stay. The children usually settle in and become one of the family remarkably quickly, with only a rare few becoming homesick or overwhelmed by the experience. The
interpreters and the group co-ordinator easily deal with any problems.
During the week
During the week the children spend school time with their group and the interpreters, allowing the host families to carry on with normal weekly life. They have a full activity programme of events arranged ahead of the visit, which normally includes school lessons, English lessons, swimming and other sports, a visit to the optician and dentist, and lots of other fun recreational activities and trips.
A genuinely life-changing experience
After one visit a FOCC volunteer noted that: “Over the four-week visit the children blossomed, gaining strength and vitality before our very eyes. The children returned to Belarus with suitcases filled to bursting with warm clothes, shoes, toiletries, vitamin pills and as much pre-packed and tinned food as we could cram into them. They returned home having gained weight, with rosy cheeks and happy confidence, knowing that people in the UK care and will continue to provide a valuable lifeline for them."
It has been proven that this month of recuperative care every year substantially boosts the children's shattered immune systems and enables them to enjoy healthier, fuller and longer lives.
This help however does not end when the children return to Belarus. Friends of Chernobyl's Children also supplies a twelve-month supply of vitamins and any essential medicines, clothes and food for both the children and their families in order to maintain the benefits of their visit throughout the year. We also provide an invaluable lifeline for the Belarusian families, with help only a phone call
It is the aim of the charity to repeat this treatment for each child every twelve months for four to five consecutive years in order to help them to live a life we all take for granted.