Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising
‘Friends of Chernobyl’s Children’ was set up to improve the general well being and immune systems of children in south eastern Belarus, in the area most affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986.


The Monmouthshire branch of this charity began life in 2001 and since then about 40 children have visited the county.

The children stay for a month at a time and return for up to 5 years, staying with host families and accompanied by interpreters. They attend a centre  in Raglan each weekday which is used as a base for activities and outings.  During the visit they see a dentist, an optician, homeopaths and a chiropractor.  Most expeditions, however, are more exciting with swimming, days at the beach, archery, quad biking and cycling all forming part of the programme.

For all of the children the opportunity to breathe clean air and eat healthy food is very important, indeed for some of the children this is the only month in the year when they get enough to eat.
The children return home with vitamins, donated clothing, shoes, stationery and other useful items. They also take home many happy memories of friends made, both with each other and with their host families.

In June this year a new group of 7 and 8 year olds will be arriving for the first year of their programme. The co-ordinator of FOCC (Monmouthshire) went to Belarus in October to meet the new children and to find out more about their backgrounds. All the children live in the area most severely irradiated but they are also chosen because they have particularly impoverished and needy lives, for example a parent may be an alcoholic or have died.

Can you help?

We are always interested in hearing from people interested in helping the charity in any way, for example by helping with the children or by fundraising.  In particular at the moment we are looking for new drivers to join our team of minibus drivers who drive the children around during the month long visit. Typically drivers help on 6-10 days during the month and rotas take the drivers’ own commitments into account. Some trips are short and within the local area, others are further afield, e.g. to Gatwick to collect the children or to the seaside. Drivers must be aged under 70 and willing to undergo a CRB check.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the work of Friends of Chernobyl’s Children is welcome to contact Jane on 01291650528 or

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