Despite happening 29 years ago next month, the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster still linger.
Thus, Jeanette Fortnum, chairman of the Market Rasen Chernobyl Children Life Line, is again seeking volunteer host families in the Rasen area for six children and their leader when they visit for four weeks at the end of July.
This year’s visit follows other hosting events Jeanette has organised with the Life Line charity and the Education Department of the Belarus government, which selects and security checks the children.
Some of the children aged 7-15 speak little English, others none, but Jeanette says lifelong friendships are made and their families are eternally grateful for the help the children receive.
“Their immune systems are low, so they can suffer terrible colds, they have thyroid problems, but nothing gets them down. They are very suspicious of milk because cows eat contaminated grass back home. By breathing our clean air and eating uncontaminated food it gives the kids health system such a boost,” she said.
Jeanette, who has been helping the children of Chernobyl for 15 years, is also fundraising for the £460 airfares it costs to bring each child. Events are planned at the Heneage Arms, Hainton, and elsewhere.
If any one can help, either by hosting a child or with fundraising, Jeanette can be contacted on 07810 124328.