LETTER: Appeal for Belarus

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On 26th April 1986 the world’s worst nuclear accident happened at Chernobyl in the Ukraine when a huge cloud of radio active dust drifted across Eastern Europe and beyond.

The Gomel region of Belarus was right in its path and a massive dose of radiation was deposited on the area.

Just 29 years on from the disaster, the Gomel Region is still a relatively poor and almost forgotten part of Eastern Europe and rarely considered to be news worthy. Many families knew no other life for generations than to live and work on the land which is now so contaminated that it cannot be worked and lies barren and their family’s lives and livelihood are destroyed.

It is left to charities in Europe and further afield such as our own Lions Clubs which continue to care, to ensure that the plight of these people is not forgotten. These charities serve in many ways with gifts, humanitarian aid, financial aid, support projects and holidays for the children affected by the Chernobyl Disaster.

Our local Haywards Heath Lions Club has, for many years, promoted a Shoebox Appeal with local schools encouraging children to fill shoeboxes with useful items for children and families in the Gomel area. This year we are extending our appeal to the wider public to ask for good quality adult and child clothing and bedding. Lions clubs all over the South East of England are engaged in this appeal and a central warehouse is receiving donations which will go by lorry to Belarus later this year.

We will be very pleased to collect any donations of clothing or bedding – please ring 01444 456294 by the end of July and we will be most grateful for responses to this appeal.

Colin Brunt,

Chairman, Service Committee, Haywards Heath Lions Club

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