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Ten children from an area of Belarus affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster were guests of The Friends of the Cromford Canal aboard narrow boat Birdswood on Friday 1st August. The lively group of ten- to twelve-year-olds, their teacher/translator and their host families and helpers had a great time on the boat despite heavy rain.

Cromford Belarus Vistors The children's four-week visit is being hosted by the Bonsall and Derbyshire Dales branch of Chernobyl Children's Life Line. This well-established charity has over 130 groups nationwide which between them bring 3,000 to 4,000 children to the UK for health recuperation holidays every year. Over two million people - 400,000 of them children - live in areas of the Ukraine and Belarus north of Kiev that are still heavily contaminated by radioactive fallout from the 1986 reactor melt-down.

One of the main health benefits of these visits is a boost to the children's immune systems which have been damaged by the radiation. Clean food and fresh air help reduce radiation levels in their bloodstream by up to 80%. The experiences the children have from visiting countries like ours can be life-changing for them and often for the host families as well. In many cases, parents can see a real change to their children's outlook on life, personality, self confidence and their achievements at school.

To find out more about how you could help the Chernobyl Children's Life Line via donation, sponsorship, hosting or support, go to
or see their Facebook page Chernobyl Children Bonsall