Portsmouth/Hayling Link  

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Marian Stapley (BEM) - Chair Person

Welcome to our website. I have been hosting for the CCLL for several years and have been able to visit the Chernobyl area on a couple of occasions, which has enabled me to understand the hardships that the children and their families have to live with day by day.

The Portsmouth & Hayling Island Link (PHIL) of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line Charity (CCLL) have a new team this year lead by me. I am supported by seven host families, Committee, Friends and Supporters. Each year we arrange for 12 to14 children to visit Portsmouth and Hayling Island on a recuperative break from Belarus.

You may already know that as a consequence of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986, many of the children from Belarus and the Ukraine suffer from or will go on to develop genetic blood disorders, thyroid & bone cancers and leukemia and / or experience social hardship.

The four week recuperative break, away from contaminated food, water and air boosts their immune systems to make a real difference to their health and lives.  

The children last year arrived in Portsmouth on the 1st June and were mainly from Osipovichi, which is in the Mogilev region near Minsk in the Belarus. The children had a wonderful time with their host families, Link members, and had many days out.  They were fortunate enough to visit the Dentist and the Optician whilst they were here to receive any treatment that they needed. Also, they were given nutritional food and drinks whilst they were here, which enhanced their lives and wellbeing.

We are certain the children take home so many happy and fond memories from their visits.  I personally look forward to the visit each year, and hope that we are able to bring across more wonderful children.

There are many children’s charities across the world, but for the children who are affected by the Chernobyl disaster, no amount of money can ever put this back as they were only time will see the end to the contamination.  It is all about making a difference to the children that are lucky enough to get the recuperative break.   I would ask that you read the following passage as it may assist you in understanding why the CCLL helps where we can.

 


MAKING A DIFFERENCE’

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before his work. One day he was walking along the shore and as he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing but instead he was reaching down the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got nearer he called out.

"Good morning, what are you doing?’"

The young man paused, looked up and replied,

"Throwing starfish into the ocean, the sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in they will die."

"But young man don’t you realise that there are miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down picked another starfish up and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference to that one".