Lifeline to Chernobyl’s children

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Communities in this area have donated all they can to bring a group of children affected by the Chernobyl disaster to Scotland for the trip of a lifetime.

The Forth Valley branch of the charity Chernobyl Children’s Life Line recently welcomed 10 children, eight boys and two girls who are aged between 10 and 12 years old, to this area.

The young visitors are placed with host families in pairs and given a taste of what it is like to live in Scotland.

They spend an entire month here and are given ample opportunity to visit health facilities, improve their English and learn more about Scottish culture through visiting sites such as Stirling Castle.

The funding for these trips, which are now in their sixth year in this area, comes from local people who not only donate money but offer items such as clothing for the children to take back with them.

A fundraising concert was recently held in Twechar Healthy Living and Enterprise Centre, and featured performances from Kirsty Coyle’s Glee Club, David Smith Irish dancers and piper John Smillie.

The 39th Masonic group in Kilsyth also provided a donation to the charity.

The kids thmselves performed the classic, Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes which they have been learning back in Minsk in preparation for the trip.

Mary Furay, who is a host for the charity, said: “The trip makes a big difference to their lives. But it would not be possible without all the donations we receive from local people which we are incredibly grateful for.” For more, www.ccll.org.uk/ho/