Kids on the move

PUBLISHED: 13:23 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

On Sunday another group of children from the pollution-stricken country of Belarus arrived in Chippenham. Thirteen girls, between the ages of seven and 13 are here for four weeks so that they can get the contamination from the Chernobyl disaster out of t

On Sunday another group of children from the pollution-stricken country of Belarus arrived in Chippenham.

Thirteen girls, between the ages of seven and 13 are here for four weeks so that they can get the contamination from the Chernobyl disaster out of their systems. The fact that the explosion was more than 20 years ago is no consolation, the land and consequently the crops are still laden with nuclear contamination which is still hampering the development of normal healthy growth. It is estimated that a stay of four weeks in an uncontaminated environment eating healthy food can lengthen their life expectancy by up to two years.

While they are here the girls will stay with host families including homes in Littleport and Queen Adelaide. The visit, as always, is arranged by the Soham committee of the national charity the Chernobyl Children Lifeline, which brings over two groups each year. It is a measure of the importance that the Belarussian parents put on this opportunity for their children to get a little healthier that they are prepared to allow seven and eight year olds to travel to strangers in a country where they don't speak the language. There is, of course, a group leader/interpreter with the group.

The charity is dependent on fundraising efforts and donations to continue its work and is always keen to hear about possible days out for the girls while they are here. To find out more, or possibly offer assistance call Heather on 01353 721736.

Last Thursday a group of young people from Soham Village College left the country. Six pupils from year 10 with two members of staff caught the 5am flight to Sri Lanka to spend a week at the Maliyadeva College in Kurunegala. The two schools formed a relationship following the village college's fund-raising efforts after the tsunami a couple of years ago. A group from Maliyadeva College visited Soham in November and the village college group is on the return trip. There should be some good tales to tell when they get back.

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