Chernobyl children enjoy best of what Dublin has to offer

Chernobyl children

Daniel McDonald

Fourteen children from Chernobyl have been treated to a sightseeing tour of Dublin.

The day out included children and their host families and was coordinated by the Chernobyl Children International charity.

The programme is designed to offer respite to children living in harsh conditions, and up to 1,000 come to Ireland every year under the scheme.

Chernobyl Children International's north Dublin coordinator Trina Gilchrist told of the importance of the programme to children in vulnerable positions.

"This is an extremely worthy cause, with excellent physical and psychological outcomes for everyone involved," she said.

"The incredible success of this programme can be attributed to the hard work, goodwill and dedication of the host families."

She said the support of Dublin families was vital to the continued success of the programme.


"This tour was organised as a way of acknowledging the tremendously important work that all the volunteers from Chernobyl Children International and host families put into the programme, and of course to welcome our visitors to Dublin, she added."

Chernobyl Children International was established in 1991 to give support and hope to children living in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.

Since then, the charity has evolved to address the long-term medical and economic effects of the disaster, and has directly saved, prolonged or improved the lives of tens of thousands of affected children.

With two full-time and four part-time staff members, together with a further 40 in Belarus and thousands of volunteers in Ireland and worldwide, they have delivered almost €100m worth of aid to date.

Laura Grimes of the Dublin Visitor Centre who sponsored yesterday's tour said it was "a memorable day out".