30 Jun 2022

Organisation headed by Tipperary woman provides sanctuary for Ukrainian children

Chernobyl Children International helps restore lost and broken childhoods

Ukrainian children

Children who are enjoying a safe haven in Ukraine

In the midst of the raging war in Ukraine, Irish humanitarian organisation Chernobyl Children International (CCI), headed by Clonmel woman Adi Roche, is spearheading an initiative providing children on the frontline with vital rest and recuperation in their homeland.

Children in the Chernobyl zone (Ivankiv region) are facing a double tragedy; firstly, from the physical battle in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and then upon liberation by the Ukrainian Army, the subsequent exposure to a detrimental elevation to the levels of the "invisible war" of radiation.

CCI has partnered with humanitarian organisation, Caritas Ukraine, to provide a safe haven in the Carpathians in Western Ukraine, for children, victims of these heinous war-crimes, to travel to for a much-needed break from the hostile environments in which they are currently living.

CCI is funding rest and recuperation camps specially designed for children of war who are suffering from shock, trauma, anxiety and all other consequences of living in a warzone. Many of these innocent children have already been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are in urgent need of physiological support from these shocking conditions.

Rather than displacing children even further, CCI is working to facilitate respite for children within their own home country. In this way, the charity aims to prevent even further trauma caused by long journeys to foreign countries far away from their families, and an unknown future as refugees.

Speaking about this initiative, CCI voluntary CEO, Adi Roche, said: “Children of the area are deeply traumatised and are suffering immensely from both the anxiety caused by the Russian invasion and the soaring levels of radioactivity in the region, which was caused by heavy military activity there.

"Children are on the precipice of psychological trauma and urgently need respite. We are happy to have found a safe haven that provides children with relief from the intense environment they are currently in, while also staying close to their families.”

CCI is calling directly on international donors and other NGOs seeking to help children in Ukraine by undertaking similar initiatives to provide these innocent children with urgent respite in their homeland. The holiday camps offer psychological support, excursions, picnics, play therapy, outdoor events and activities, and more.

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