Chernobyl: 30 years on26.04.2016 - 09:14 | Maya Mathias
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor disaster. People in the affected countries are still suffering the consequences of the catastrophe. The Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation has been inviting children and young people from the region around Chernobyl to the Children’s Village since 1996.
On 26 April 1986, a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, releasing radiation into the atmosphere. The resulting radioactive cloud contaminated parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. After the disaster, the area around the reactor was evacuated and a 30-kilometre-wide exclusion zone set up.
Even 30 years later, the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe are still visible: millions of people continue to be affected not only by radiation damage, but also by the indirect economic, social and health impacts of the event, among them children and young people living in the heavily contaminated area around Chernobyl.
«Affected children and young people were given the opportunity to spend three to four months recuperating in the Children’s Village.»
In response to the catastrophe and the resulting suffering, the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation decided in 1996 to invite children and young people from the region around Chernobyl to the Children’s Village in Trogen. Affected children and young people were given the opportunity to spend three to four months recuperating in the Children’s Village. A healthy environment, a balanced diet, and games and sports in the fresh air helped both their immune systems and their spirits to recover.
Today, projects for children and young people from the region around Chernobyl form part of the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation’s intercultural exchange projects. Learning intercultural communication skills is at the heart of the two to three-week exchange. The children and young people engage with important themes such as child rights, anti-racism and interculturality, and get to know peers from other countries.