Can you share your home with a Chernobyl child for two, three or four weeks?
Hosts welcome children into their homes as part of their own family. Over the years many hosts have acquired "extended families" as contact is maintained over the years with children that have stayed with them.
Host families are all volunteers - the reward comes in seeing children blossom during their time in the UK. With the problems of Belarus, Ukraine and Chernobyl put to one side, the children can enjoy themselves.
Many of our links (local groups) arrange group activities and outings during the three or four weeks recuperation visit. This gives the children the chance to interact and to be able to talk together in their own language. Everyone visits the dentist and optician during their first visit to the UK. From necessity some of the cancer care in their home countries has become very advanced, however some of the dental and opticical equipment dates back to the 1960s!
The children are in the UK for up to four weeks but some families may only be able to host for part of that time, this is not a problem. We can arrange for two families to share a four week period (for example) and ensure a smooth transition from one family to the other. We recommend that children are hosted in pairs so that they can relax together.
We also have supporters (or Buddies) to help our host families look after the children, when needed. There may be times when family matters take precedence over activities and it might be that a "sitter" is required. These support families provide an integral part of the hosting activity.
Whilst most of the activity takes place during the children's visit, the whole process requires a lot of dedicated work throughout the year by the link committee and membership, fund raising and planning the visit . Although we depend a lot on supporters and sponsors for what we can get for free, it costs our links in the region of £500 per child. This money has to be raised locally by the link and any help towards this, or any offers of assistance are always welcome.
There is always someone on hand to offer advice if needed. We always have Belarusian or Ukrainian leaders (usually English teachers) with the group who translate and are on call 24 hours a day. Of course there are some families that have hosted many times and will gladly pass on tips and experiences to you. As a host family you will be provided with a manual of advice, guidelines and rules, together with a glossary section in Belarusian or Ukrainian. You are never expected to cope on your own.
Each Host family and/or buddying family must hold DBS/VF clearance through the Charity. Regretfully other certification obtained via other bodies may not be accepted. Families will be visited in their home and the complete program operated by the Charity explained to them in detail. This to ensure that both the children and they host family both have the best possible experience during the visit. The Charity will cover the cost of a child’s first visit, however, a Host family is at liberty to return the child for further visits, providing they are prepared to meet all costs involved. In these instances the Charity will make all arrangements on behalf of the Host family. Please contact either your local Link representative or Head Office for further details of how this can be arranged.
Hosting Chernobyl Children