Chernobyl Children visit Ireland

The group exploring at Carton House
The group exploring at Carton House

On Monday 20th July, 25 children from areas in Belarus, close to the Chernobyl region, were  hosted on a special day trip by Intel Ireland employees. The children  were being hosted in Ireland by the Lucan Group of Chernobyl Children  Appeal (Irl), a registered charity which was formed in 2002 and which  has since organised over two hundred and fifty holiday trips to the  Lucan area for children and teachers from Belarus.

Each year Intel employees  are invited to support the charity by becoming a host family to a  visiting child for the duration of their 3 week stay in Ireland. In  addition to this support, each year Intel volunteers host a special day  of activities for the group. This year, a team of volunteers from the  Sort Department led an outing to Carton House for the group.

The day began with  children, teachers, chaperones and Intel volunteers meeting at the Intel  site where a bus brought the group to the grounds of Carton House. Once  at the Carton grounds the group set off on a special nature trail  taking them around the Carton lands, exploring the many scenic features  along the way. Following the nature walk the group returned to the  Carton clubhouse for lunch after which they headed back to the bus to  return to Intel. On the way back the children managed to catch a glimpse  of the Real Madrid football team training on the Carton Grounds and  also had the chance to meet RTÉ televisions ‘Wonderwoman’ Katherine  Lynch.

The day was a huge success  with many happy faces returning to Intel. Ann-Marie Hyland from Intel’s  Sort department helped to organise the outing and praised the efforts of  Intel staff; “Thanks to everyone who attended this event with the  Children of Chernobyl in Carton House. The children thoroughly enjoyed  the Nature Walk and lunch provided. Well done everyone and thank you for  your support”.

The Lucan Group of  Chernobyl Children Appeal are registered as part of the Intel Matching  Grants program so in addition to the time given by Intel volunteers to  the group they will receive at the end of the year a matching grant from  the Intel Foundation.

Since the nuclear disaster  of April 1986, the people of Chernobyl have been denied three of the  most basic commodities: fresh air, nourishing food and clean water. By  opening their homes to these children for three weeks during the summer,  host families are giving more than just these prime essentials but fun  and a break from their usual routine as well. Medical science  demonstrates that by experiencing contaminated free air, food and water,  albeit for a short period, the lives of those living in the Chernobyl  region are extended.

Cllr. Derek Keating, who  heads up the charity, was also delighted with the event saying that, “We  are very grateful to Intel for their ongoing support – their continued  expression of goodwill towards the charity is fantastic. The children  really had a great day and it was a real treat for them to see Carton  House”.

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