Today was a really fun day! We have 3 new children coming to Canada this summer as part of our Relief from Radiation program and I had the good fortune to go and meet the children and their families!
This little girls name is Sveta, she is 10 years old and she has a guinea pig! She is very excited to be coming to Canada and can’t wait to meet her Canadian host family.
Marina, the little girl in this picture, is also 10 years old and has been
to Canada twice before. This year she will be returning and her big brother will be coming with her. I asked him what kind of foods he did not like and he told me that he didn’t really like milk and dairy products. However when I pointed out that ice cream was a dairy product he assured me that he made some exceptions!
Dasha is only 8 years old but will turn 9 in May. She likes dancing, drawing, reading and playing outside. She is taking English in school so this will be a very good experience for her.
All of these children’s backgrounds and situations are different, but they have one thing in common … they live in an area still impacted by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and they all deserve a chance to spend a few weeks away from the exposure to help their immune systems. Of course there are thousands more children here that are just as deserving!
Chantal Seguin is on our Board of Directors and has hosted a boy named Vadim for the past two years. This is Chantal’s first trip to Belarus and today we ran into Vadim at the Chausy Orphanage where he is currently living and attending school. It was a very happy reunion!
Vadim goes home to stay with his mother on weekends and we took this opportunity to drop in for a visit with her as well. Here are Chantal and Vadim with his mother.
Stephen MacKinnon arrived on Friday and immediately started working with the children at the orphanage on various projects. Today he took a little time to re-connect two friends, both children who have grown up at the Chausy Orphanage. In this picture you see Stephen on the left and our driver and interpreter Inna on the right. The two girls are Yulia on the left and Katya on the right. Stephen had taken them to a local restaurant for lunch.
Yulia completed her studies at the Chausy Orphanage two years ago and is now studying Economics at University in Mogilev. Katya is in grade 10 and has one more year of school after this one at the orphanage before having to decide on her future plans. These two girls were from the same village when they were young children and both ended up in the Chausy Orphanage. Although all of the children in the orphanage consider themselves family, these two are particularly close, like sisters. We have had many children go on to college and university from the orphanage and Yulia is one of the great success stories and a true role model for her younger “sister”.
We are hoping to get permission to deliver tomorrow or Tuesday and we have lots of other exciting plans too, so stay tuned!