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“The true meaning of Christmas”: Children from Chernobyl arrived in Ireland today

The children, who come from impoverished backgrounds and state-run institutions in Belarus, are being flown to Ireland by Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI).

Source: ChernobylChildren/YouTube

HOST FAMILIES FROM across Ireland are today welcoming Christmas guests as a group of 30 children from the Chernobyl Region of Belarus fly into Ireland.

The children, who come from impoverished backgrounds and state-run institutions in Belarus, are being flown to Ireland by Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI).

Voluntary CEO of CCI Adi Roche said, “Christmas starts today for us – this is one of the most joyous and heart-warming moments of the year for me. While the needs here at home are great, it is marvellous to see the Irish people reaching out to those beyond our shores and showing love to abandoned and orphaned children who live with huge physical and intellectual disabilities.

“Nothing as magical as this will ever have happened in their lives. This is the true meaning of Christmas – it’s about the giving, not the getting – the giving with open hearts, open arms and open homes,” she said.

Charity Hero and Volunteer of the Year Jim Kavanagh, from CCI’s Kilkenny Outreach Group, said this year three of the 30 children will be going to host families in Kilkenny while the remaining 27 will stay in loving homes all around the country from West Cork to Drogheda, Galway and Dublin.

More than 24,700 children from Belarus – the country most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster – have come to Ireland with CCI for life-prolonging holidays during the summer and at Christmas time.

Read: VIDEO: Drone captures haunting footage of Chernobyl ghost town

Read: In pictures: an amazing return to Chernobyl

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