Help us to help Chernobyl children

Yulia's family at her home in Belarus (left to right, David Riley, Yulia, Denise Bennett, her brother Kyrl, her sister Elena, her mother and her grandmother.
Yulia's family at her home in Belarus (left to right, David Riley, Yulia, Denise Bennett, her brother Kyrl, her sister Elena, her mother and her grandmother.

A BUSINESS couple has made a New Year appeal for help in looking after the Children of Chernobyl.

Denise Bennett and David Riley recently visited Belarus to meet some of the families who are still suffering 25 years after radiation leaks from the April 1986 nuclear power station explosion, estimated to have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The couple, who run a property company in Bare and are a “volunteer family” for a Chernobyl children’s charity, went to the city of Mogliev, which David described as “muggy, dark, and at times scary”.

“The places were the children lived were even worse,” he said.

“Most of the families have no water on tap, no heating, and even no toilet or showers for some.”

Denise and David went to see Yulia, a little Belarussian girl who comes to England to stay with them.

Yulia lives with her two brothers, sister, mother and grandmother in a village house with no modern conveniences or toilet or shower.

The couple visited 28 families in total. They took gifts of hot water bottles, toiletries, food parcels, essentials and money to give to families and all gifts were extremely well received.

“The surprise and welcome they gave us knowing that they were not ‘the forgotten children’ pulled at our heart strings,” said Denise.

“All of us cried tears of happiness and sadness.”

See The Visitor (17-12-11) for full story.