Formerly known as Chernobyl Children’s LifeLine, our charity has spent 30 years providing Ukrainian and Belarusian children with respite holidays to the UK, allowing them a break from the radiation emitted by the world’s largest nuclear disaster in 1986. However, at the outbreak of war in Ukraine, we were forced to immediately transfer all our activities to providing emergency supplies to affected Ukrainian people.
We have recently partnered with the local council in the Ukrainian village of Myrcha, around 60 miles northwest of Kyiv. Myrcha is home to around 130 children, most of whom attend the village’s only school and kindergarten. These buildings are also used as the village’s primary medical care centre and ambulance point.
Myrcha and the surrounding area was occupied by Russian forces from February to May 2022. The village has been extensively bombed, shelled, and has been the location for open tank battles. There were nearly 1200 people trapped in Myrcha during the occupation as they escaped from nearby villages, or from the nearby town of Borodyanka, the scene of some of the worst fighting.
As the Russian forces retreated, the school and kindergarten were looted of all equipment and the buildings damaged to the extent that they remain largely unusable. The village constructed a basic bomb shelter which has simple benches, 2 bio toilets and a small wood-fired stove to provide light and heating. This is where the entire school and kindergarten pupils, from ages 3 to 18, are currently being educated. Although the area is back under Ukrainian control, the situation is far from stable and missile and drone attacks are frequent.
The charity is currently providing emergency equipment such as generators, LED lighting, and proper heating. We are also supplying a wi-fi hub, laptops and printers to help the children’s education. The students are returning to school on September 1st after their summer break and we are hoping to have this equipment in place ready for the new school year. The next phase of the project will be to restore the school buildings, and set up a Psychological Support Unit within the Kindergarten, to help the children to cope with the trauma of what they have experienced during the war.
We appreciate times are hard at the moment, but could you give up a couple of coffees or make some other small sacrifice to help the children of Myrcha? Why not have one pint less, get your nails done less frequently, or skip that take away for just one week? This is the kind of project where small donations really can make a huge difference. Your contributions will help bring light into children’s lives during these very dark times. Thank you for your support.