In June of 2011, the President of Belarus passed a decree that due to the economic crisis, all children living in orphanages throughout the Republic, who have parents or relatives, must return to their families regardless of the living conditions, abusive circumstances, or neglect. This had an immediate impact on 70% of the children living in the Chausy Orphanage. Canadian Aid for Chernobyl took immediate action to plea to the Government to pass a law that would allow children living in dangerous or abusive situations to be “sponsored” by Canadians to return to the safe environment of the Chausy Orphanage. This request was approved and made law in early August 2011!
This is the first “foreign” agreement for sponsorship of children living in an orphanage in the history of Belarus! We have identified and safely returned 381 children over the past 8 school years. Canadian Aid for Chernobyl negotiated with several Ministries (Education, Health, and Social Services) as well as local authorities and agreed upon several terms and conditions. It has now been recognized at all levels of government that there still exists a real need to rescue some children from dangerous living situations.