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Monday, November 7, 2011 12:00
Northsiders urged to help Chernobyl kids
by Martin Flanagan
• Staff from the Seed Testing laboratory at the Department of Agriculture who hosted kids from Chernobyl

THE Chernobyl North Dublin Outreach Group has called on the public to help raise funds for children affected by radiation.

Vanessa Kennerney, secretary of the project and seed analyst at the Department of Agriculture, raised €4,000 to allow some of the affected children stay in Ireland during the summer months.

She said examinations had shown that the children’s health improved after they spent time away from areas marred by radiation.

“The children come and stay with me during the summer for four weeks,” she explained. “I’ve managed to gather enough supporters to raise funding but the public is more than welcome to contribute through the Crann Daire go Deo website. It’s a great project and it allows people to give something back to society.”

Alongside other bodies such as the Office of Public Works, Europa Facilities Management and Coillte, Ms Kennerney is hoping to raise more funding to allow the children to spend a number of months in Ireland through the project.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster, 25 oak trees, donated by Coillte, will be planted at a ceremony on November 30 at the Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Adi Roche, founder and CEO of the Chernobyl Children’s project, will be present on the day.

The event will also feature staff at the Backweston Laboratory Campus who have sponsored each of the trees in an attempt to raise vital funding.

The trees will be numbered and a certificate will be presented to each sponsor in recognition of their contribution towards the Chernobyl Children’s Fund.

“The event will be very emotional and happy at the same time,” Ms Kennerney said. “We’re expecting a big outcome and it’s going to a worthy cause.”

In the 20 years since the establishment of the Adi Roche’s Chernobyl International Aid, 21,000 children have been provided with recuperative aid.

Over €90 million has also been delivered to areas stricken by radiation such as Belarus, Western Russia and the Ukraine.

The charity comprises 6,000 volunteers and provides vital life-saving machinery to children in need.

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