Chernobyl children experience Derbyshire hospitality

Children from Chernobyl are entertained by Amber Valley Rotarians.
Children from Chernobyl are entertained by Amber Valley Rotarians.

Children from Chernobyl enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games in Codnor as well as a buffet at the Codnor Castle Inn, provided by Amber Valley Rotarian Georgios Kafkoulas who runs the pub. For more than 20 years Pinxton and East Derbyshire branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline have welcomed visitors from the Ukraine which was hit by a nuclear disaster.

Rtn Georgios Kafkoulas provided the buffet at the Codnor Castle Inn which he runs.

The afternoon formed part of an annual visit to Derbyshire, which is organised by the Pinxton and East Derbyshire branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.

These visits have been organised for more than 20 years since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

Children in Chernobyl still have a reduced life expectancy and an increased risk of radiation induced illness, as radiation will continue to affect the area for hundreds of years.

Their five weeks spent in the UK with clean air and better food increases their life expectancy by two years.

During their stay in Derbyshire, the children are given free dental treatment and provided with new clothes. They get involved in sports and have visits to the zoo and seaside, which they particularly enjoy as they have never seen the sea.

Rotarian Keith Rogers, who helped organise their visit to Codnor Castle Inn said: “The whole area around Chernobyl is very poor because of the long term effects of the disaster. The area relied heavily on agriculture and now their previous sales markets will not buy produce from them because of the contamination. The only industry in the area is a tractor factory.

“It is wonderful to see the children enjoying their time whilst in the UK and they all look better for their stay when they return home.”

Amber Valley Rotary president Trevor Taylor said: “We are pleased to continue our support over several years to Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline. The respite the children get by being hosted in the UK is really important and is a great benefit. We would also like to sincerely thank our host at Codnor Castle Inn, George Kafkoulas for providing a most enjoyable buffet for the children.”

The photo shows the children from Chernobyl and their translator, Marsha with George Kafkoulas and Amber Valley Rotary president Trevor Taylor.