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Video: watch CCPI volunteers in action in chernobyl affected regions


Video: watch CCPI volunteers in action in chernobyl affected regions


 This 10-minute video was filmed in the fall by Ireland's RTE television, and shows Chernobyl Children's Project International volunteers in action in the Mogilev region of Belarus.

 One of the children prominently featured in the piece -- Victor, the little boy with the cleft palate and tracheotomy tube -- died shortly after the filming. (Here is a photo I took of his grave last month). His loss was a terrible reminder that children belong in families, not in institutions.




 Along those lines, the film also introduces Ina Gudkovskie, who lived in an orphanage before joining a real family in one of CCPI's "homes of hope." You can click here to learn more about the Gudkovskie family, and watch the video to hear Ina (who speaks English) talk about how having a mother and father has changed her life. Click the links to read the about the Zhila and Savin families -- happy homes made up of children who had suffered lives of neglect and abuse. If you want to learn more about sponsoring a family home for children who have been living in orphanages, please email me.

Finally, the film updates the story of Vesnova asylum resident Sasha Levkin, who along with his friend Sasha appeared in the film Chernobyl Heart. (Both boys are pictured here -- Sasha Levkin is seen holding a photo of Chernobyl's Hero, a Karakorum race horse whose winnings are donated to CCPI.) Both boys have reached the age when they would typically be transfered to an adult asylum, where they would be warehoused until death. The boys have feared and dreaded this prospect for the 7 years we have known them. In the film, you will see CCPI founder Adi Roche promising Sasha (as he weeps with happiness) that CCPI volunteers will build them a home of their own. As I write this, that promise is coming true -- a CCPI volunteer team is in Mogilev right now building a disability accessible home for the two Sashas, and for 8 other disabled young adults who will be able

to live with dignity, rather than being transfered to an adult institution.




When I talked to the two Sashas last month, however, "dignity" was not the word rolling off their lips -- it was more like: "Party!" (Don't worry, we've hired staff to assist the young people and provide supervision!) They were brimming

over with excitement and anticipation. After all of the difficulties Sasha has been through, it is almost surreal to realize that when I next see him, he will be able to serve me tea in his very own home.


Posted by Kathy Ryan at 04:46 PM  April 17, 2008





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