Category Archives: 2007 Delivery

Blog posts from the spring 2007 aid delivery.

The Truck has finally arrived!

It has been a long haul since the money was raised but the truck has finally arrived. Last spring Mark Seymour of Kriska Transport set out to raise the funds to buy a truck for “Hope for the Future” our partner organization in Belarus. The money was raised and delivered in March 2007 but it has taken 3 trips to Germany to find the right vehicle! In this picture you see Svetlana Simanova of “Hope for the Future” with the new truck as they prepare for the return drive to Belarus.

Svetlana and the new truck.

Svetlana was very excited about the new truck and sent the following note to Dave Shaw:

Dear Dave,

We have looked for a truck that we needed for a long time but now we are lucky, we have what we wanted. The truck is in a good condition and we hope that it will work well for the help to Belarussian kids and and our organization. We are very happy that our dream has become true.

You can see our smiling faces in the pictures.

Please, thank everybody who took part in raising money for our truck and the microbus for Chausy orphanage. We appreciate it so much.

Best regards


Dave Shaw told me that the most exciting thing for him is that this is another example of us not just handing over aid, but we are giving them the ability to help themselves. Although Canadian Aid for Chernobyl personally delivers all aid to it’s final destination, many other organizations just “drop and run”. This leaves “Hope for the Future” with the difficult and expensive task of distribution. Imagine a very poor family in a remote location being told that there are 3 boxes of aid for them to pick up in Minsk! Now “Hope for the Future” has the capability to get this badly needed aid right to the people who most need it!

As I said previously, Mark Seymour of Kriska Transport spearheaded this initiative and the money was raised from the following companies:
MacKinnon Transport
Robert Transport
Rosenau Transport
Richard Muir Charitable Foundation
Calyx Transportation Group
XTL Transport
Yanke Transfer
Armour Transport
CAT Inc.
Pollock Nationalease
L E Walker Transport
Kriska Transport

These are companies that truly care and are helping us make a difference!

On a separate note … there is a small delegation going to Belarus this month and although I will not be there, I have arranged with Neil Matheson to send me pictures and updates regularly so that I can post their progress to this blog … so stay tuned!


A Van for the Chausy Orphanage!

Jennifer Hopson and her Sorority group from Caledon had raised the money for a new mini-bus for the Chausy Orphanage and delivered it herself in March. However, finding the right vehicle at the right price was not a quick project. In July the vehicle was found and delivered much to the delight of the orphanage director, staff and children.

Here is a picture of Jennifer with some of the children from the orphanage:

Jennifer Hopson and part of her fan club!

Here is a note I recieved from Dave Shaw, Director of Humanitarian Aid:

“Great news….our mini bus has been delivered from Germany! In the 3rd photo is Svetlana Simanov (Hope for the Future) passing the keys to Vitaly (Chausy Orphanage Director). Vitaly is excited and could not imagine such a van!


Dave Shaw”

Here are the pictures:


The Van crosses into Belarus!

Vitaly gets the keys!

I wrote to Jennifer and asked her to write up a note as to how this project came about, here is her note … this is a great example of caring people reaching out and helping:

“My story is as follows:
Five years ago this summer, Kristi U’ren brought two orphans to the Rotary dinner meeting as they were staying at Leisure Time Campgrounds owned by Bill Jay, one of the Rotarians. When he met them, he invited them to the Club to tell their story. As it was Bob’s Birthday, Vicha (who sang at the CAC Reception last summer) sang Happy Birthday to Bob in Russian. Later that week, I told him that I had to do something for these children.

I belong to a woman’s Sorority, Beta Sigma Phi which has four Chapters in Bolton. I told them my story and asked them to support me. Only my Chapter was interested, and we decided to have a Valentine’s Dance. The GM of the Glen Eagle Golf Club, Luke Ursa told us that he would support us and it didn’t matter if we had only 50 or 100 people attend. We sold over 100 tickets and had about 75 raffle prizes raising about $4000. The event has always been largely supported by Bob’s Rotary Club. Year two, we added a small silent auction and raised $6,000. Year three, we increased the size of the Silent auction tables and raised $8,000 and also sold about 160 tickets. This past year, we added a live auction with five items: a king size rag quilt which we made, a slot machine, Gourmet dinner made by our Chapter with the Major and Chair of Brampton serving, a mini golf tournament at the Golf Club for 12 people and a boat cruise for four on a private yacht. We made $14,000 with almost 200 tickets sold! We also raised the ticket price to $60 from $50. We have a beautiful four course dinner with a DJ who wows the crowd. We print our own tickets, put flyers around town, write a story for the Caledon Enterprise ( the local paper) and ask each guest three times to please buy a ticket.(haha) This year there were only seven members in our Chapter and a woman who writes an article each week for the paper wrote a story about us after attending the Dance and called us the “Magnificent Seven.” Two new members also joined after attending the Dance. We had Michelle Valberg’s CD playing in the bar area.

When I spoke to Dave after Valentine’s, I asked him what he still wanted to get from his list of initiatives and he said a minibus for the Chausy Orphanage. After five months, they found one in Germany that will enable the children to get to competitions and other outings. We are so happy and I felt that my dream of doing something for these children was realized with the help of some special women!

Having travelled to Belarus this past winter, I can say that it was a trip of a lifetime. The “Canadian Aid for Chernobyl” is a wonderful Grass Roots organization helping hundreds of families and giving hope to children where none previously existed.


Stay tuned as I will be posting an update to the Chausy Orphanage Agriculture Program.


21st Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster

Today marks 21 years since the accident at Chernobyl. We are now having a second generation born and living their lives in radioative contamination! There are many sites on the net to go to for information on the accident and it’s aftermath. A simple Google search will give you plenty to read. Here is a link with a Belarussian perspective.

When we arrived in Belarus this year we stopped at the offices of “Hope for the Future”, one of CAC’s partners located in Minsk. They had this map on the wall. It shows the areas of contamination with the darker shading representing more severe radiation.


Here is a close-up of the region that we spend most of our time. I have added the English names to Mogilev, Chausy and Kostukovichi.


On our drive to Kostukovichi we pass through the evacuation zone where no one is supposed to live. Here is a shot of me standing next to a warning sign. It is easy to see why people would want to return or reluctant to move as there is no way to sense any sort of problem. Note the overgrown building in the background:


The next 2 shots were taken from the window of the van as our driver really did not want to stop in the zone:


Most of the houses and buildings have been bulldozed and buried as people were removing articles and materials to use at home and of course these items are severely contaminated.


This road was once completely closed but it is now open as it is the most direct route to Moscow from the Mogilev region.