Twice per year Canadian Aid for Chernobyl, with the help of the Rotary Club, hosts a birthday party for children in the Chausy region who are deemed to be “invalid”. Although this is a term seldom used in Canada, in Belarus it is used to encompass people with a wide range of problems. Anything from diabetes to epilepsy or down syndrome to hydro-cephalia.
Today we celebrated all of the children in the program with birthdays in winter or spring. It is a day to show these children that people care for them, that they are loved, important and significant in our eyes. It started with a play to entertain the children called “The Spoiled Princess”, then there were games with prizes for everyone. In this game the teams had to race around a slalom course with a ball between their knees. Here a young boy shows his determination:
The Canadians are always included in the games and the children take great joy in showing us how it is done. Here Neil Matheson, our CAC Guardian Angel Coordinator, tries his hands (or knees) at the race!
At one point they lined up a bunch of Canadians and handed them all instruments. Of course they were very uncertain as to what to do with them.
They played recorded music and had our delegates pretend to play along while everyone danced! Here Jeff Snider, Riley Shaw, Dan McKenzie and Rhona Dixon “wow” the children with their hidden talent! The children laughed, clapped and danced with joy.
Before the children leave all those with winter and spring birthdays are called to the front to be given a gift in honour of their birthday.
There were tears of joy when this child made the journey unassisted for the first time, thanks to therapy made possible by this program.
Afterward, there was time for the Canadians to mingle with the children and their parents. Lots of pictures were taken and hugs exchanged.
This little guy not only loved to get his picture taken, but decided he should take some too! Here he is taking a picture of his Mom with one of our Fire Fighters while Kenny Sine and Jeff Snider look on.
This party is always one of the great highlights of the delegates trip and this year was certainly not disappointing. Everyone left feeling uplifted … the children with gifts and love and the delegates with gifts of love!