Monthly Archives: October 2008

Press Release – re: Host Families

The following press release has been sent to all media locations in the region.  Hopefully this will get coverage and help to bring our host numbers back up.  Please share this with anyone you think may be interested.

Chernobyl Children Are In Need Of Host Families for Summer ‘09

Airfare Subsidy of $1000 per Child



More impoverished Belarusian children from the Chernobyl contaminated zones will have the chance to visit this region next summer through the Leeds and Grenville based charity Canadian Aid for Chernobyl respite program.


Sizable donations from Leeds and Grenville area supporters have made it possible to subsidize travel expenses, a breakthrough according to program directors. The subsidy of $1,000 per child is to lower cost and make it easier for host families. Because of this, the Brockville-based charity’s goal is to double the number of children visiting from 20 this past summer to 40 for Summer 09.


CAC Children’s Program Director, Rhona Dixon, expresses “we are extremely grateful to our community. The generosity has allowed us to effectively cut the cost of bringing a child in half! We really hope that this incentive will attract many new host families!”


Canadian Aid for Chernobyl (CAC) has been operating the summer respite program for the past 17 years and has brought more than 600 children to Leeds and Grenville host families. The visits give children a chance to recuperate from the radiation contamination still being felt in their country from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Many receive much-needed medical and dental attention while here in Canada and it gives them a chance to boost their depleted immune systems.


“Every year thousands of children don’t get the opportunity (to come here). Now, with this subsidy, it literally opens so many more doors,” said Dixon “So many more kids will have the chance to improve their health, receive proper dental attention and extend their lives”


The subsidy is in place for 40 children. Host families can request a child aged eight to 14 from a Belarusian orphanage or from a struggling family. Many Belarusian families plead with CAC delegates to give their child the chance to come to Canada for six weeks.


Since 1991, hundreds of area families have hosted Belarusian youngsters and have found out how rewarding it can be. “The best family experience we’ve ever had” said the Smith Family. Charity directors feel there are many more families, couples, and seniors who would host a child but have, until now, been deterred by the cost. The non- profit organization also provides additional fundraising opportunities allowing host families the ability to raise 100% of the cost to bring a child.



CAC will be hosting informal information meetings in several locations and dates:


All sessions start at 7pm




Thursday Oct 16 – Brockville – The Mill – 123 Water St. West – top floor


Monday October 20 – Kemptville – South Gate Community Church – 1303 French Settlement Road


Tuesday October 21 – Gananoque – Gananoque Secondary School – Room 115


Wednesday October 22 – Prescott – South Grenville District High School – Library                 


Thursday October 23 – Smiths Falls – Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute – Room 139 299 Percy St       


Monday October 27 – Brockville – The Mill – 123 Water St West – top floor


For additional information or interest about hosting a child in the summer of 2009, contact Rhona Dixon at 613-342-2079 or email or visit the website at



Since you read all the way to the bottom of the press release, I am going to reward you with some pictures of some children who have not yet had the opportunity to come to Canada as well as some of our “Summer Children” enjoying themselves in Canada!

Eric McKenzie