During the Bristol links annual pre-visit trip to Belarus in April 2019 our CEO Dennis Vystavkin asked them to visit Yasen' Social Centre.
This is a temporary care facility designed to accommodate up to eighteen 3 - 18 year old children who (for various reasons) have been removed from their families.
All of the windows need replacing, one of only two shower cubicles was beyond repair, and the unit regularly failed government inspections because of a lack of basic kitchen equipment.
The list was long, and it was difficult to know where to start.
When meeting Elena (the Director), we were told that she could have anywhere from five to twenty-eight girls and boys under her care on any given day. If, after six months, the children are unable to return to their own family, or have not been adopted then they will be sent to an orphanage. Her resources are meagre, she gets funding for basic foods for the children and that is about it
Due to fortunate timing and personal connections, within two weeks of returning to the UK an initial grant of £1,500 had been accepted from Norton Pradigm Trust. With help from Dennis they got quotes for a new shower cubicle for the boy's dormitory and kitchen equipment. By the time their vice chairman returned in September a new shower had been installed and with Alexey's help he delivered a new fridge, microwave, iron and a big pile of cleaning and other consumables.
There is still a long way to go with this place, as with everything we do for the children of Chernobyl, we now have to raise more money!