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Chernobyl host family appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:50 21 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 03 July 2010

HOST families are needed to look after youngsters from Belarus who are affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident more than 20 years ago

Fourteen children will be sponsored for a four-week holiday this summer, arriving on July 13 and returning on August 10, fewer than the usual number of 20 due to the overall cost of the visit.

HOST families are needed to look after youngsters from Belarus who are affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident more than 20 years ago

Fourteen children will be sponsored for a four-week holiday this summer, arriving on July 13 and returning on August 10, fewer than the usual number of 20 due to the overall cost of the visit.

Spokesman for the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Link of Chernobyl Children Lifeline, Terry Ashbourne, said: “Last year airport taxes were increased from £20 per child, to £40. So for our group of 20 children we had to raise £800 just to cover that tax alone. To transport children from Gatwick to Great Yarmouth and back again at the end of the month cost over £700. So this year we are using a self drive 17-seater minibus which will decrease the cost involved but it will limit the number of children.”

He added: “Costs of this year's group are expected to be approximately £320 per child to cover everything from air fares, visas, insurance, airport taxes and transport.”

This year's visit has faced the added complication of a new visa system, whereby every child invited to the UK has to travel to the British embassy in Minsk to obtain a new type of visa.

However, Mr Ashbourne said: “The charity will pay the travel costs for the children and their group leaders to get to Minsk and back home again. By not doing so may well exclude children from the poorest families. These are the ones who are generally in most need of a holiday.”

The children of those who survived the Ukraine nuclear disaster has a shorter life expectancy then children in the UK.

Mr Ashbourne said: “These holidays are only possible with the help of volunteer families who are willing to provide accommodation for either two or four weeks.”

If you can help the Chernobyl Childrens Lifeline, with accommodation, call Amanda on 01493 732602.

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