On Monday 20th July, 25 children from areas in Belarus, close to the Chernobyl region, were hosted on a special day trip by Intel Ireland employees. The children were being hosted in Ireland by the Lucan Group of Chernobyl Children Appeal (Irl), a registered charity which was formed in 2002 and which has since organised over two hundred and fifty holiday trips to the Lucan area for children and teachers from Belarus.
Each year Intel employees are invited to support the charity by becoming a host family to a visiting child for the duration of their 3 week stay in Ireland. In addition to this support, each year Intel volunteers host a special day of activities for the group. This year, a team of volunteers from the Sort Department led an outing to Carton House for the group.
The day began with children, teachers, chaperones and Intel volunteers meeting at the Intel site where a bus brought the group to the grounds of Carton House. Once at the Carton grounds the group set off on a special nature trail taking them around the Carton lands, exploring the many scenic features along the way. Following the nature walk the group returned to the Carton clubhouse for lunch after which they headed back to the bus to return to Intel. On the way back the children managed to catch a glimpse of the Real Madrid football team training on the Carton Grounds and also had the chance to meet RTÉ televisions ‘Wonderwoman’ Katherine Lynch.
The day was a huge success with many happy faces returning to Intel. Ann-Marie Hyland from Intel’s Sort department helped to organise the outing and praised the efforts of Intel staff; “Thanks to everyone who attended this event with the Children of Chernobyl in Carton House. The children thoroughly enjoyed the Nature Walk and lunch provided. Well done everyone and thank you for your support".
The Lucan Group of Chernobyl Children Appeal are registered as part of the Intel Matching Grants program so in addition to the time given by Intel volunteers to the group they will receive at the end of the year a matching grant from the Intel Foundation.
Since the nuclear disaster of April 1986, the people of Chernobyl have been denied three of the most basic commodities: fresh air, nourishing food and clean water. By opening their homes to these children for three weeks during the summer, host families are giving more than just these prime essentials but fun and a break from their usual routine as well. Medical science demonstrates that by experiencing contaminated free air, food and water, albeit for a short period, the lives of those living in the Chernobyl region are extended.
Cllr. Derek Keating, who heads up the charity, was also delighted with the event saying that, "We are very grateful to Intel for their ongoing support - their continued expression of goodwill towards the charity is fantastic. The children really had a great day and it was a real treat for them to see Carton House".
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