We are always interested in speaking to anyone who can offer a safe, comforting and accommodating home to one or two children during their visit to the UK. Our current host parents span a wide range of demographics and include families with children around the same age as those which visit, older couples whose own children have already grown up and moved on, and those who are not parents themselves.
It is a wholesome and rewarding experience, both for the children and for yourselves. We pride ourselves on our through organisation and transparency, anyone who steps forward and volunteers their time to support our children will find a wealth of support and knowledge available to them.
The responsibility and enjoyment
Host children for one or three weeks in the summer. Allowing them to enjoy the adventure of their childhood, which will make an impression on these young minds as they develop towards adulthood. Your assistance will give the people of the affected areas in Belarus hope for the future.
We are looking for friendly and caring environments for our children to be welcomed into. Hopefully we have piqued your interest and you will continue to read the wealth of information below. Perhaps your own home will be welcoming visitors from Belarus next year?
An introduction to hosting
The Link hosts one group of children each year, accompanied by a "Leader" (A English speaking, certified Leader/Interpreter - this leader will be a teacher with a number of years of teaching experience). We bring children each summer for three weeks - for the final week of July and the first two weeks of August. The children are between 9 and 11 years of age, and speak little English. They are very brave for venturing into the unknown, away from their parents and where a different language is spoken. They however will not be the only persons making a brave decision...
We understand it can be a daunting project to volunteer for, rest assured we shall do our utmost to prepare you for the adventure. We hold monthly meetings in the four months leading up to the children's arrival. These meetings shall prepare you as best as possible for the following adventure. On top of this, there will always be an open line of communication throughout the year - both when the children are in the UK and leading up to each visit, we are always contactable and able to offer assistance.
Anyone interested in hosting should make contact with the link. The process begins with a home visit from members of our organising Committee. During this home visit, both parties can ask questions to help you become better informed about the process. The majority of our host families are either families with young children of a similar age to the Belarusian children whom are visiting or are of an age where their own children have grown up and left the family home. We recommend having at least one another child in the house for your Belarusian child to spend time with, to play and interact with. This child can either be your own child, or another Belarusian child. Families without their own children of a similar age, we would recommend hosting two Belarusian children at a time, as it's easier for the children to have someone of their own age and nationality to spend time with at your house. Families with children of a similar age will find either hosting either one or two children suitable. It is surprising how well children can understand each other and play together without a common language.
We partake is numerous activities over the three week period. Including rockclimbing, sailing, day trips to the seaside, waterparks and more. The idea for the visit is to give the children an adventure to remember and make the very most of their three weeks in our country. The area they live in is a poor, rural area of Belarus, which has been greatly affected by the Chernobyl disaster. Bringing them to the UK gives the children a much needed break, giving them a small health boost and exposing them to a different culture. This is an experience they can carry with them for a lifetime, one which we hope installs a greater level of ambition for their own lives.
The health-related benefits of the visit includes an eye test. Some children arrive severely malnourished and go home looking much healthier and with a noticeable weight gain. We also financially support the families of the neediest children once they return home.
We also are in need each summer of people who able to support our project by acting as Support to Host Families. These Support Hosts would be able to step in on occasion to assist for individual days, to cover for our Host Families on days where they are unable to attend our program of events.
As a Charity, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline’s reason for being is not just relief of poverty or providing holidays for poor children. It exists because of the difference we can make to the lives of children growing up with the long-term health effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. These children are affected by the contamination, regardless of whether they are the son or daughter of a statesman or of the poorest farmer. Only time will eliminate Belarus and Ukraine of the problems caused by the Chernobyl disaster. However, poverty and ill health can be relieved and alleviated in a much shorter timespan.
If you would like to read more detail about hosting, please continue to the next page.
Bob Crampton, former chairman of the CCLL Newark and Sherwood link
"We have brought over 100 children from Molotkavichy School to the UK over the years. To see them in their homes when we visit the village is enough to know that these children need help. We all have the satisfaction of seeing them enjoying themselves and adjusting to a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle."
Dr Zolovok, director of the children's hospital for the Soligorsk region:
"We are the hostages to the hazardous aftermath of radiation and the future of our very race is threatened with extinction, as our children, our gene pool is seriously ill. In the midst of this tragedy, we have been given hope by the people of the UK. Thank you for supporting the lives of our children."
Nick Rushby, host parent 2016 - present
"I find the whole experience to be extremely fun and rewarding. It becomes clear these children have seen more and have been forced to grow up earlier than you'd like to see. I believe the children visit at a crucial point in their childhood for us to expose them to more, and hopefully install a greater level of ambition within them."