News

Children of Chernobyl

Sunday 12th Jul 2015

Children of Chernobyl

"Tank You Vaary Muuch"
The above is the loud cry from a group of 18 youngsters aged between 8-10years from Belarus whom the Rotary Club of Lunesdale entertained for a day on the 7th July for the 3rd consecutive year. "Friends of Chernobyl's Children" brings over 600 children from Belarus for a months holiday each year. They are hosted by families in the many satellite groups around the UK. Our group is based at Arnside and Silverdale.
John Dale, the club's new President, welcomed the children who were very interested to see his chain of office. Juice and biscuits (which disappeared like lightning) followed. At this point the weather looked iffy so packs of playing cards were produced. The youngsters quickly clued in to the game of snap with the aid of interpreters and a demonstration. Plenty of loud table thumping followed.
When the sky brightened we took the children for a walk providing lots of excersise and fresh air. It was not easy keeping up with them! They had a lot of fun throwing stones into the River Lune trying to skim them across the water. Back to the hall where a delicious and nutritious cold lunch followed much enjoyed by youngsters and helpers alike. Next a visit to the local park was very successful.
The highlight of the visit was Mark the Magician. With the help of an interpreter Mark is brilliant with the youngsters. His show was interspersed with lots of "oohs" and "aahs", gasps of delight and huge applause from the children. They so appreciate the mystery of his tricks not to mention a similar reaction from the Rotarians and helpers in the audience, who also thoroughly enjoy the show.
Finally John presented each child with a backpack filled with useful goodies. In addition this year they were each given a "family" of 3 cuddly teddy bears. It was a joy to see the the faces of the children as they discovered each teddy. The local community responded generously to my appeal for small items for the backpacks and the teddy bears. Local people like to support this international project of the club.
Our group of little visitors, who come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds, enjoyed a lovely day of entertainment and carefree fun. We certainly enjoyed having them.

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