Can your family help Chernobyl charity?
Published on: 02 May 2017
From Page 1
had two additional families on standby in case of emergencies.
But now, due to circumstances beyond their control, the two spare families and one other host have had to pull out, leaving the charity desperate to recruit others.
Alan Elkan, a charity member from Downend, said the children each spend a month here, with host families looking after the children for two weeks.
"Two months ago we were ecstatic as we were in the wonderful position of having two spare host families. But since then we have had three of them drop out so we really need at least one more family to host two boys for two weeks from July 23 to August 6.
"We might have to cancel two children but we desperately don't want to."
Alan said the clock was ticking as there is a lot involved in approving new families.
"Unlike a lot of organisations which bring children over to the UK, we are a charity so have to go through a very rigorous process of vetting host families and this takes some time. I wouldn't want this to put anyone off because there are a lot of rewards involved. You get the joy of giving children from a real destitute country two weeks of fun, friendship, good food and hopefully good weather. Hosts get the pleasure of helping children who can't help themselves.
"Most of the children haven't necessarily got a mother or father and come over for health reasons. Some people say there are plenty of poor children in this country who need help but we say 'Yes, but they aren't suffering from radiation and aren't all going to suffer from cancer and die at the maximum age of 62'."
Here in the UK, the children will take part in activities ranging from sports to the arts and will go on coach trips to the seaside or countryside.
Alan said: "The children adapt very quickly from day one. They are very happy to be here doing things, getting new clothes and eating better food."
Andy March, chairman of the Bristol Link and national trustee, said they need to act quickly.
"We have only just found out and time is now tight. We need a host family to fill the gap for the second fortnight that the children are here. If we don't find another host family, potentially it means two boys won't be able to come. We don't know the exact ages of the boys yet but they will be around 11.
"There is a lot of support for hosts. We have seven families who, for whatever reason, can't host but want to be involved. They are called 'Buddies' and will help out and take the children out for the day if a host family has a diary commitment they can't avoid. There are also two teachers with the children who are English speakers who act as interpreters."
Andy urged anyone who was interested to get in touch on 07812 159942. Find out more at www.ccll.org.uk/bristol