Since 1991, members of Canadian Aid for Chernobyl have provided the opportunity for children living in the contaminated areas of Belarus to visit Canada for relief and recuperation from the dangerously radioactive environment. Clean air, water and uncontaminated food result in a marked improvement on the physical health of the children and their immune system. While in Canada, the children receive dental and medical attention not available to them in Belarus. Canadian Aid for Chernobyl receives overwhelming support from area dentists, physicians, opticians, service clubs, organizations, industries, businesses, churches and individuals. This program is limited to Canadian families living within 60 kilometres of Brockville, Ontario.
Deadline for completed applications to host a child for the summer of 2019 is January 31, 2019. To qualify for Board Funding for hosting you must contact Chris Mitchell to get your name on our Host list no later then December 15th, 2018.
Here is a message from one of our Host Children:
What is hosting?
The act of bringing a child from a radiation contaminated region of Belarus and caring for them in your home for five weeks in the summer.
To provide the opportunity for children living in the contaminated areas of Belarus to visit Canada for relief and recuperation from the dangerously radioactive environment. Clean air, water and uncontaminated food result in a marked improvement on the physical health of the children and their immune system.
What can we expect?
Hosting is a very rewarding experience for your whole family. Not only do you get the satisfaction of helping someone less fortunate but your children learn about conditions elsewhere in the world. It’s an experience that helps us all appreciate what we have.
What do we need to do?
Contact Chris Mitchell by e-mail or phone (613-802-3874) to find out more information. You will need to have Chris include you on our host list by December 15, 2018 to qualify for Directors funding and submit all completed applications by January 31, 2019 in order to host for the summer of 2019.
How Much does it cost?
For our summer of 2019 program, the Board of Directors has taken on raising funds required to bring up to 20 children to Canada. Host families will be required to EITHER volunteer at a minimum of two CAC organized fund-raising events OR pay $500 towards the children’s airfare. This includes; transportation to and from Canada, health insurance as well as the cost of our interpreters. You will be responsible for any costs incurred to host them in your home, for example; food, activities, clean air and lots of love.
How do I deal with the language barrier?
The child you host will speak Russian and we bring interpreters over with the children who are only a phone call away. However it is easier to communicate than you might think. With the use of a Russian/English dictionary, on-line translator or just pointing and gesturing most day to day communication is pretty easy. If you have a child around the same age you will find that they develop their own ways to communicate through play and activities. We also supply you with a Host Guide and the numbers of other host families. All new families are “buddied” with an experienced host family to help with any questions or concerns.
What will we do with our host child?
Mostly they just fit in with your regular family environment. Most host families will try to expose their child to sights and activities that they feel they will enjoy. There are also activities that the host families can participate in together.
My own children go to a sitter while I am at work, what about our host child?
This is a good time to talk with your care giver and explain the situation. Once you sit down and look at the actual five week period you will discover the actual number of days that you need the sitter is minimal, when vacation and other activities are taken into consideration. Some care givers will donate this time as the inclusion of a Belarusian child can enhance the program for all of the children.
Who arranges travel?
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl arranges all travel and documentation from Belarus to Brockville and back again.
What if there is a medical emergency?
Included in the cost is medical insurance so that the children are covered during their stay.
What if I have a family emergency?
Although we prefer the child stay with their host family we do have back-up hosts available in the case of an emergency.