Registered Charity No. 1014274 North Pembrokeshire Link web site:

Registered Charity No. 1014274
North Pembrokeshire Link web site:
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link –
Statement from our Chairman and Founder –Victor Mizzi MBE
Photos of recent visitors to Pembrokeshire
1. The Chernobyl Disaster.
2. A history of Chernobyl Children’s Life Line
4. Where is Belarus?
5. About Belarus
6. Where is the Ukraine-Map showing areas of contamination
7. About the Ukraine
8. The North Pembrokeshire Link
11. Roles and Responsibilities of Group Leader, Link Leader and Host Family
14. Hosting and Child
16. Recommendations for Children once in the UK
17. Before they Arrive
18. A warm Welcome
20. The Itinerary of Outings and Visits
22. Diaries, Photo Albums, Scrap books-their record of the month
23. Home visits to Host Families
24. The next few days-as the visit progresses
26. Foods they Like
27. Doctor, Dentist, Optician- Medical Matters
28. Medical Emergencies
29. Trips Out
30. A Few more Thoughts
32. Preparations for Departure
33. Return visits-Private Invitations to the Children
34. Sending Parcels and Gifts to the Children
35. Privately funded visits to Belarus and Ukraine
36. Who will be Hosting for the Forthcoming visit to the link
Appendix 1. Telephoning to Belarus and Ukraine
Appendix 2. CCLL Child Protection Policy Statement 2010
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link –
In the ever changing times that we live in the Charity is constantly monitored
by various authoritative bodies both in the UK, Belarus and Ukraine.
The Charity had to be seen to be acting in a professional manner at all times
and to have in places procedures and guidelines that satisfy the requirements
of these authorities.
The following document has been produced to comply with these
requirements and is in no way a reflection on the way any Link is or has been
We ask you to help us to present the Charity as a responsible and
professional organization that works together to unified guidelines which will
enable us to achieve our objectives.
-o-o-o-oNote from the North Pembrokeshire Link:
This Handbook has been up-dated from disk containing the CURRENT CCLL HEAD OFFICE
The items of ‘Charity Policy’ are clearly stated as such. To maintain lighter reading we have included
anecdotes of experience gained by host families since 2002 – together with some of our Link
photographs of the children.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link –
Our first group from UKRAINE to arrive to the
North Pembrokeshire Link in February 2009
Group 6014 arriving at Gatwick Airport on 20th February 2011 from
villages in the Ossipovichi district of BELARUS.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link –
The Chernobyl Disaster
“On 26 April 1986 one of the reactors in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, located in the small
Ukrainian town of Pripyatz, was destroyed by two powerful thermal explosions. The 2000 ton reactor
lid shot up into the air as huge amounts of radioactive steam came out from the reactor core. Strong
winds almost immediately spread hazardous clouds over neighbouring Belarus, North Ukraine and
Russia. Then, during the first ten days, radiation covered much of Europe and small amounts of
radionuclides were detected as far away as Japan and the USA.
At present it is still undisputed that 72% of the radioactive substances from Chernobyl fell on
Belarusian territory. Almost a quarter of the land and one fifth of its population of 10 million was
affected by this disaster. 2,500 kms of cultivated land is now dominated by wild animals. In the first
days the so-called ‘zone of estrangement’ was defined and people were promptly evacuated never to
come back. To separate the most severely contaminated area from the outside world a 193 kms
barbed wire fence was erected. Almost 135,000 Belarusians became forced refugees. On modern
maps many of those villages do not exist any more. Roads irreversibly changed into wild animal
paths. Nature rules on the site of deserted villages.
Meanwhile in Belarus almost 2 million people including half a million children continue to reside
in contaminated areas being affected by low doses of radiation. Scientists have yet to determine the
influence of this radiation on living organisms. In the wake of Chernobyl thousands of families were
grief-stricken as the disaster affected human health resulting in a sharp increase of congenital,
pulmonary, gastro enteric and other diseases. Specifically, the childhood mortality rate increased......
The number of children and teenagers with thyroid cancer increased a hundred-fold. In the two
decades after Chernobyl breast cancer reports have constantly risen.
Twenty-five years has proven to be too short a time to answer exactly what is happening to us after
Chernobyl and what awaits us in future. What happened during the Chernobyl disaster shows once
again that it is people who count. Chernobyl became the symbol of human courage, unity and
strength. About 115,000 people participated in extinguishing fires at the Power Plant with
subsequent decontamination and clean-up measures. The majority of them were destined to die
from Leukaemia and other cancers.
The response of the international community to the largest human-made disaster in the
history of mankind deserves special mentioning and the highest praise..... Hundreds of
thousands of children from Belarus were welcomed by families abroad during their holidays. They
were given health checks. Orphans from contaminated areas found new homes and loving parents
in different countries. People of good will and kind hearts demonstrated in a number of ways their
support of the Chernobyl victims. The fruitful involvement of global cooperation to decrease the after
effects of radiation is recognised by Belarusians as one of convincing examples in pursuit of
humanitarian goals. “
(Taken from a letter circulated by the Rotary Club of Minsk to all Rotary Clubs).
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
A History of the Chernobyl
Children Life Line
The charity (No.1014274) was founded by Victor E. Mizzi MBE also awarded Belarus highest order
FRANTSYSK SKARYNA, to help the children of Belarus who are suffering from the after-effects of
the Chernobyl disaster and the on-going economic situation in the Republics of Belarus and the
Origin and Aims of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL)
CCLL was conceived by 1991 by Victor Mizzi MBE with the following stated aim:
“To relieve the need and sickness of children affected by radiation following the explosion at
the Chernobyl nuclear reactor on 26th April 1986.”
The CCLL Constitution is a formal document which is registered with the Charity Commission. A
copy is held by the North Pembrokeshire Link Leader for any host family to read.
All the CCLL’s work is relative to the after effects of the Chernobyl disaster which incorporates the
Republics of Belarus and Ukraine.
Summary of the Objectives of the CCLL
To bring children suffering from the after effects of the Chernobyl disaster to the UK for
recuperative breaks of 28 days. Over 44,000 have been brought to UK since 1992.
2. To work with partners in Belarus and Ukraine to locate children who are in need of
recuperative care.
3. To help children too sick to travel by providing appropriate support where needed.
4. To support CCL initiated projects in all regions.
There is more information about CCLL nationally on the Charity web site:
General Information About the Charity
The charity comprises approximately 165 `Links` (branches) set up throughout the U.K. The aim of
each Link is to raise funds in order to bring groups of children to their area for respite care in host
families for four weeks per visit. At the same time as raising the awareness of the general public to
the plight of the victims of the disaster in order to gain the help and support much needed for the
work of the charity. The funds raised are essentially to cover the air fare plus bus transportation of
the visiting children from their homes to the UK via Minsk/Kiev airports and London to their host link –
also costs involved in giving them an interesting itinerary of outings during the month of their stay in
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
It is estimated that a month in the UK eating wholesome uncontaminated food, breathing
uncontaminated air can boost their depleted immune system such that it can give them two more
years on a very short life expectancy. In the words of Dr. Zolovok, former Director of the Children`s
Hospital for the Soligorsk region:
“For each child taken to the UK they are returned two years of life. We are the hostages
of the hazardous aftermath of radiation and the future of our very race is threatened with
extinction as our children, our gene pool, is seriously ill. In the midst of this tragedy, we have
been given hope by the people of the UK. Thank you for supporting the lives of our children.”
The Chernobyl Children Life Line has no headquarters and pays only the very minimum of salaries to
four staff in an office in the Chairman’s home in Surrey. Our Charity literature and staffing expenses
are paid for with tax repaid through the Gift Aid Scheme – so it is most important that all
donations be accompanied by a Gift Aid Declaration.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Where Is Belarus ?
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
About Belarus
The Republic of Belarus is a new independent state formed as a result of the dissolution of the
former USSR. Until 1991, the Republic of Belarus was known as the `Belarusian Soviet Socialist
Republic`. Now it is a member, and also one of the founders of the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS). Belarus has an area of 207,600 making it slightly smaller than the UK.
Topographically, Belarus is predominantly flat with wide stretches of unbroken birch groves, vast
forested marshlands and gently sloping green fields. The Country suffered grievously in both world
wars – WWII taking a quarter of its population and laying waste most of its cities.
Belarus is divided into six administrative provinces – BREST, GOMEL, GRODNA, MINSK,
MOGILEV, AND VITEBSK OBLAST – which in their turn are subdivided into about 120 administrative
districts (regions). As at 1999 the population of the Republic of Belarus stood at 10.045 million
The climate of Belarus is continental which becomes marginally more severe as you move from
south-west to north-east. Average January temperatures are between –4 degrees C and –8 degrees
C, with frost experienced for seven to eight months of the year. The warmest month is July when
temperatures normally reach 17 degrees C to 19 degrees C and can reach 30 degrees C. Rainfall is
moderate at 500-700 mm a year, with June to August the wettest months. There is snow cover
continuously from December/January to March/April.
The capital of Belarus is MINSK which is a newly-emerging cosmopolitan centre of the
Commonwealth of Independent States with 1.6 million inhabitants as of February 1999. BREST is a
lively and hectic border town located less than 200 km from Warsaw and 346 km from Minsk.
HRODNA is probably the most picturesque city in Belarus simply because it survived the war better
than anywhere else and therefore has more historic buildings intact. POLATSK is a sleepy riverfront
town 261 km north of Minsk. MINSK has quite a lively cultural life and its Belarusian Ballet is one of
the best classical ballet companies in Eastern Europe.
The children of Belarus who reside in towns are likely to live in one of the many apartment blocks
that are such a feature of Belarus and Ukraine. Children who come from villages are likely to come
from extremely poor backgrounds but have greater access to fresh vegetables and fruit since they all
have a small plot of land in which to grow their produce. They live in more basic, but nevertheless
homely, accommodation.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Where Is The UKRAINE?
In 2009 The Charity first started to approach the Ukraine offering the same type of help for
their children as for the work already well-established in Belarus. The town of Chernobyl, and
the town of Pripryat (a town built especially for the workers employed at the nuclear plant at
Chernobyl) are situated in the northern area of the Ukraine. During the first few weeks after
the explosion of the reactor No.4 at Chernobyl (12 kms from the Belarus border) – the people
of northern Ukraine were subjected to a similar degree of radiation and fall-out as the people
of Belarus. As the wind blew in an anti-clockwise direction northwards after the explosion –
Belarus received a greater proportion of the fallout – but thousands of Ukrainians were
evacuated from the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl and were re-housed in towns to the
south, including Kiev (Kyiv). This caused tremendous psychological and social problems due
to over-crowding and country people being relocated into town situations.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
About Ukraine
Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since veered
between seeking closer integration with Western Europe and reconciliation with Russia, which
supplies most of the Country’s energy.
Europe’s second largest country, Ukraine is a land of wide, fertile agricultural plains, with large
pockets of heavy industry in the east.
While Ukraine and Russian share common historical origins, the west of the Country has close ties
with its European neighbours, particularly Poland, and Ukrainian nationalist sentiment is strongest
A significant minority of the population of Ukraine are Russians or use Russian as their first language.
Russian influence is particularly strong in the industrialized east, as well as in Crimea, an
autonomous republic on the Black Sea which was part of Russia until 1954.
News of a Soviet-era calamity, the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, rang
alarm bells around the world immediately. Chernobyl is situated close to the northern border of
Ukraine with Belarus. The land affected is situated to the north and west of Kiev (including Kiev itself
– the capital). About 8% of Ukraine’s territory was contaminated. The town of Pripyat, which was
built to house the workers at the nuclear power plant, was totally evacuated and at first a 30 km
exclusion zone was set up. This was later extended to 60km and everyone living in this zone was
evacuated and re-housed in tower blocks in the towns outside the exclusion zone. This evacuation
did not occur before the population had suffered massive doses of radiation. The Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Plant was eventually closed down in December 2000. Millions have suffered as a result.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
The North Pembrokeshire Link
This handbook has been prepared to give support to host families by way of useful tips, general
information and Charity Policy regarding the Roles and Responsibilities of Host Families. It also
contains Appendix 1 – a Glossary of Russian words and phrases; Appendix 2 – about discounting
calls to Belarus and Ukraine and Appendix 3 – a copy of the CCLL Child Protection Policy Statement.
We hope that the handbook will help host families in their endeavours to give their visiting children a
homely, enjoyable, safe and interesting time with you.
CHAIR/LINK LEADER– Susan Carey – 01239 820822
Deputy Chair – Roger Carey – 01239 820822;
Treasurer and Website manager – Tony Bentley – 01348 891332;
Secretary – Carole Alabaster – 01348 811325
Members: Wendy Bentley – 01348 891332 - Health appointments’ Secretary;
Richard and Jenny Goswell – 01348 873733 – Press & Publicity; Fundraising;
Charmian and David Hughes – 01348 811245 – Used clothing collection;
Ruth and Roger Woodage – 01348 837168;
Gill Winkler – 01348 873033.
Introduction from the Link Committee:
Welcome to the CCLL Host Family Handbook. Please take time to read it as it contains information
to assist you during the forthcoming visit of the children you are to host. You will find that it is a mine
of information and tips as well as Charity Policy. It also contains advice on what to do in an
As you will be aware, new issues arise from time to time and therefore this document will be
amended on an ongoing basis. To ensure it is kept as up to date as possible please return the
handbook to the Link Leader at the end of each group visit. Or visit our link web site (below) for updates to the handbook. Our Head Office issues from time to time an up-dated disk for the Charity
Policy document together with up-dates for the Handbook which will be published on our website.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
We would ask that everyone do their best to work together for the duration of this visit. It is
appreciated that people will have differing opinions but everything has to be done with the
children in mind. We must be realistic and accept that our lives will be disrupted and the visit will
involve hard work by everyone involved but I hope that everyone will endeavour to work together as a
group and hopefully you will find the rewards prove to be well worth the effort you will have put in.
If you have a problem or a concern, please contact in the first instance, the Link Leader. Everything
will be treated with the utmost sympathy and in complete confidence.
We are most grateful to every person involved with this Link for all their hard work both prior to and
during the visit. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone – especially to the host families – without you we could
not continue to help the children whose lives have been blighted by something which was no fault of
their own.
Ways in which you or your friends could help our work:
If you have any leads for new host families within the North Pembrokeshire area or contacts willing to
help with fundraising – please contact the Link Leader. (See Page 8).
If you would like to recommend the family of one of the children hosted by you as a family suitable for
sponsorship through the ‘Family Support Project’ – please contact Bryon Alabaster (Coordinator for
Welsh Links) on 01348 811325;
If you have any leads for new host families outside the North Pembrokeshire area please also
contact Bryon;
If you know of anyone wishing to donate good condition used clothing to fit children aged 9-12
please contact Charmian or David (01348 811245);
If you would like to sponsor an advertising space in our local paper – please contact Richard
(01348 873733);
If you, or your friends, would like to make a donation to our Link Funds – please contact Tony
(01348 891332) – cheques should be made payable to ‘Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline’ and if possible
a Gift Aid statement could be offered – Tony has the forms.;
If you have any ideas for fundraising or would like to run a fundraising event please contact the Link
Leader or any member of the committee.
The North Pembrokeshire Link is totally voluntary – there are no overheads (with the exception of
postage and stationery). All donations and funds raised go towards the Chernobyl children’s visit and
transportation to North Pembrokeshire.
Although a small group of children were brought to Pembrokeshire in 2002, our first Link Committee
was formed in May 2002 in order to raise funds and prepare the ground for bringing our first full group
in February 2003. A new and more comprehensive committee was then formed during 2003.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
1. To raise funds to finance group visits of children from the contaminated regions of Belarus and
from Ukraine. We aim to bring between 10 and 14 during the Winter group visits. Often individual
children in pairs visit for four weeks during the summer by private invitation.
2. To find and approve (together with CRB Applications for a Disclosure – we will be there to help
you with this) suitable host families who will host the children in pairs for two or four weeks at a
3. To devise a suitable itinerary for the group visit by approaching local places of interest and leisure
for day trips on approximately 3-4 days per week.
4. To incorporate into the itinerary: Home visits to each host family by the Children’s Group
Leader/Interpreter who is ultimately responsible for their welfare and well-being. Also Dental
checks and Optical checks (where necessary – ie if there is an indication that the child is in need
of a check).
5. At least one Committee members is to be at Gatwick Airport to meet the groups and to return
them there at the end of their four weeks’ stay.
NOTE: Frequently telephone call are made to the Host family in the last fortnight before the children
arrive from the Embassy of their Country to check that you are expecting to host a certain child. They
usually ring at about 8am to catch you in. You will be asked:
1. Are you Mr.....or Mrs..........? (Expect them to know your full names).
2. What are the names of the children you are expecting to host? (Give only names.)
3. What date do you expect them to arrive?
4. What date do you expect them to depart for home and can you guarantee that they will be put
on the planned flight?
Please cooperate with this. You are free to ask them to offer you some identification of themselves
and if there is a number you can ring to check – but in our experience these calls are very genuine
and are in the best interests of the children. Do NOT give any addresses – either yours or the
children’s. Regarding their meeting their scheduled flight – I personally can guarantee that the
children will be delivered for their flight home. If you are in any doubt please give them the Link
Leader’s telephone number.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Roles and Responsibilities of
Leaders and Host families
We are all one team with the same aim, which is promoting the health and the welfare of the children
entrusted to us. However, each person has different responsibilities.
The Group Leader comes with the children from Belarus or Ukraine. He/she is not only an
interpreter but also the LEADER of the children being held legally responsible for them under the law
of their Country. If anything should happen to the children, they are accountable to their
Government. That is why the Group Leader must be present when children undergo any
treatments – to be there to help and reassure the child and to aid those giving treatment with
OF THEIR PARENTS, UNLESS IN AN EMERGENCY. This consent has to be obtained by
contacting Victor Mizzi who will telephone directly to their parents or to the Minsk/or Kiev Office of the
The Group Leader should be hosted in a home where there are no children of the visiting group
being hosted. The Group Leader will visit you all in your homes by prior arrangement in order to
reassure the children and to interpret their needs for you and your needs for them. Should you wish
to invite the Group Leader to your home on a purely social visit – please contact in the first instance
the Link Leader to ascertain when the Group Leader would be available and free to do this and to
advise her when it would suit you. Then make the arrangement with her host family. Whilst we want
the Leader to enjoy her visit here – it must be remembered that her duties towards the children
must take priority. . If the children are not happy where they are being hosted – the Leader is dutybound to listen to them and to discuss this with the Link Leader or her host family (if they are a
Committee Member).
The Link Leader/Chairperson. The responsibility for the group is ultimately that of the Chairperson
of the Charity, Victor Mizzi, as the children come under his signature. This responsibility is in turn
entrusted to the Link Leader/Chairperson. It is not advisable for Group Leader to ring the
children’s parents at home as they are far away and could be caused unnecessary worry. So this
will not be done without prior discussion with the Link Leader and if necessary with Victor Mizzi or a
member of staff at Head Office. At the very start of the visit Link Leader will give the Group Leader
an itinerary for the month and will be given an idea of what is expected of her during the month in
order to ensure the smooth running of the visit. If the Link Leader, a committee member, her host
family or indeed any host family feel that she has acted inappropriately at any time – please discuss
this with the Link Leader in complete confidence. We are only interested in the welfare of the
children in our care.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Hosting adults are responsible for the welfare of the children they are hosting and for ensuring that
the children fit in happily with their family.
It must be born in mind that these children are from a different culture from our own and their
customs may not be the same as ours. Eating times and habits may differ from ours too – they tend
to have their main meal of the day at midday – usually in school.
They take a while to get accustomed to the two hour difference between Britain and Belarus/Ukraine.
Remember when telephoning home (Charity Policy is once a week only to help overcome
homesickness) not to make any calls much later than 8-9pm. Remember too not to let them know
your number as if parents phone them too often this increases homesickness and makes them
weepy – especially if Mama is crying at the other end of the phone. Note the discount codes in
Appendix 2 at the end of this book – there are many more numbers to be found using the internet.
Many children are overwhelmed by the abundance, and sometimes the waste, they see in our
homes. Encourage them to serve their own food so that hopefully they only put on their plates what
they think they can eat and what they like to eat. They can be with you initially in the kitchen for this
purpose. They may also appear fussy about their food because of stomach problems.
It is up to the Host Families to set their own house rules and to stick to them – start as you mean to
carry on. As the children often do not go to bed before their parents at home they may try to stay up
very late – YOU must set their bedtimes and if they do not adhere to your requests you may
telephone their Group Leader at any reasonable hour asking her to explain what you expect of them.
Encourage them to change their underwear a little more frequently than they would at home – it
needs to be explained that in UK we change our underwear every day. Show them where you want
them to put their used clothing and be sure to put the clean things out for them at night before
The children may not be too familiar with the concept of `privacy`. They often go together to the
bathroom as it makes them feel secure having their friend with them. You need to demonstrate to
them that here we put the toilet paper into the toilet and not in the bin. To begin with they will be shy
about showering or bathing – please encourage them that it is a fun time and give them some baby
‘no tears’ bubble bath. If you are hosting girls of a relevant age be sure to leave ST’s in a drawer,
provide bags for their disposal and show them where they are to put the used ones. Be sensitive to
their likely embarrassment.
The Fruit Bowl. They only have access at home to home-grown fruit (all contaminated) but will have
been told that it is good for their health to eat lots of fruit. Maybe it’s a good idea to
limit the number of fruits left out in the bowl to what you think they should have in one day. They
often eat so much fruit, especially soft fruits, that they can get diarrhoea.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
The majority of children live quite simple lives but are well-loved and well-cared for by both immediate
family and extended family. Grandparents play a major role in their up-bringing.
In some cases the parents of the children may be suffering from alcohol and/or stress related
problems – which of course means that the children also suffer. This can cause them to appear quite
withdrawn. Be sensitive to this and offer hugs and smiles of approval when they join in with your
This photograph shows two Belarusian visitors happily integrated into the family life of their host
family who have family visitors down for the weekend - of course all four children played happily
together and enjoyed a lovely weekend with no language problems or difficulties in understanding
each other. Children always know better than adults how to dissolve barriers!
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Hosting a Child
Each family selected must satisfy the Link Committee as to its suitability for hosting children.
SUITABLE HOST FAMILIES are: Families with children ; families whose children have left home;
families where the minimum of one adult is in the home for child-caring purposes – ALL subject to the
approval of the Link Committee. Unfortunately, the Charity cannot consider applications from single
people for this role, however, there are many other ways to assist the Charity.
THE CHILDREN WHO ARE CHOSEN TO VISIT will have been chosen for one or more of the
following reasons:
They have had cancer and are now in remission after treatment;
They live in one of the contaminated areas;
They have been evacuated from a heavily contaminated area;
They have other illnesses related to the situation in Belarus and Ukraine – or have recently
recovered from an operation;
5. They are all suffering from lowered immune response.
Note: Even professional parents earn less than $500 a month between the both of them.
All children are deserving
children regardless of
social background and
family circumstances.
The ONLY criteria for
selection is that the child
must be living, or have
lived, in one of the
contaminated areas and
is therefore at risk of
contracting radiationrelated illness. These
visits offer families hope
in what sometimes
appears to be a dark
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
We try to find out as much as possible about the children’s home circumstances before they come,
as well as their health problems. However, do not expect all children who come to be ill. Many of
them look perfectly healthy and are very active during their holiday.
Occasionally children may be hyperactive because of an over-active thyroid gland, whilst others may
tire easily – which may also be a thyroid problem.
Many of the children are reasonably healthy and the purpose of the holiday is to help them stay that
way – after all they need to be fairly well in order to cope with the journey and also the month`s
separation from their homes and families. JUST REMEMBER that whilst they live at home they are
constantly eating contaminated food. Caesium and other radio-active elements may be building up in
their bodies. They are ALL at high risk of developing cancer, heart disease or serious respiratory or
digestive problems. The time they spend with us may help prevent this.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Recommendations for The
Children once in the UK
We ask host parents to remember that the children come to us to improve their health, therefore,
please bear the following points in mind:
1. The majority of children come unspoiled and have little given to them – do not encourage them to
be greedy or allow them to become wasteful. Do not allow them to develop unrealistically high
expectations. Too much generosity, even over-indulgence, may make it difficult for other families
to afford to host children in the future because of the difficulty of raised expectations on the part of
some of the visiting children.
2. Be frugal with pocket money (preferably give none at all except for little gifts to take home to their
family) and do not over-indulge the children with too many presents. Encourage them to spend a
little of their own spending money on a small present for maybe parents, siblings, friend. Bear in
mind – it is Charity Policy not to send the children home with any electronic gadgets,toys or
3. Do not send children home with money – this is on the advice of the Belarus Police as drugpushers may target these children.
4. DO NOT ALLOW THE CHILDREN TO GO OUT ALONE e.g. to parks. So if you have a dog and
the child wishes to take it for a walk – the child MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT - IN
5. Trips in boats means wearing a life-jacket – and of course, it goes without saying – THEY MUST
6. Instruct them on our law that car seat belts must be worn at all times.
7. When it is time to prepare for their return home (some will have arrived in only what they are
wearing) it is helpful to pack a bag of clothing (these can be good second-hand clothes to fit them
and their brothers and sisters. Please stick within the 30 kgs allowance for hold luggage.
8. Bear in mind that new items are sometimes sold by poorer families - sometimes for food which is
fine BUT sometimes for alcohol.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Before They Arrive
We host children in pairs, either two boys or two girls. They can be hosted for either two or four
weeks. The children invited by the North Pembrokeshire Link are usually 9 and 10 years. The two
children would like to share a bedroom but they can also share with your own children of the same
sex. Most of the children sent over to the UK arrive with very little personal belongings so the host
family may need to provide some of the following items from day one:
1. A children`s toothbrush and toothpaste – they really enjoy using them if the toothbrush carries a
well-known character and if the toothpaste is a children`s gel of fruity flavour!
2. Children`s `no tears` formula bath/shower liquid – even the cheapest baby brand will do fine.
3. Their own towels (they do not share) – incidentally most children love swimming, so swimwear
wouldn`t go amiss (get them at the clothing share-out!).
4. For winter visits, we found that after we had provided a hot water bottle for the night of their
arrival, we were duly presented with it each night. In fact they took them home, so impressed
were they with these warm cuddly items (in a protective cover of course.)
5. A supply of sanitary towels.
6. For winter visits – a pair of wellington boots would be most valuable, especially for those who live
rurally. (We always have plenty at our ‘clothing share-out’ afternoon).
Do NOT send these back home in their luggage – they will not use them at home as they
need fur-lined boots for their frozen winters.
7. A stock of clothing for everyday use – we usually have a ‘fun and games’ afternoon early on in the
first week during which we display a large stock of good quality used clothing from which host
families can choose plenty. If they have siblings – make sure you pick some items for them. Of
course these clothes form the main part of their 30 kg. allocation to take home with them.
Be sure to cover their mattresses with a waterproof cover – even if they are not declared
bedwetters – the exceptional circumstances of leaving home for a whole month at a very tender
age may result in an accident or two. Be reassured they will soon settle down.
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A Warm Welcome
You will be contacted by telephone to say that the children are one hour from Fishguard and the pickup point – please be in to receive the call. It will be between 7-9pm. ALL HOSTS for both periods
will be welcome to meet the children at the pick-up point. The children will arrive in this area after a
gruelling journey of some 15+ hours. They will probably have had an emotional parting from home –
how many of us could send our 10 year old away from home for a month?
They need to know that you care and understand their uncertainties – hugs go a long way towards
demonstrating how you feel about their uncertainties and that you are trying your best to be `parent
substitutes` for them.
Booster Seats: we have a supply – these are needed for children under 135 cm tall. Use the ‘child
locks’ on your car – just in case their first thought is to open it if they feel car sick!
It would be unwise to try to press a meal upon them as they will have been fed en route to
Pembrokeshire and what they will need more than anything else will be their bed.
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When you arrive at your home introduce the children to your family and your pets. Pets always
manage to ‘break the ice’. So after the initial excitement of their arrival – just a hot drink and a biscuit
or cake – and then take them to their bedroom and allow them a little time to settle in. Later, show
them where your room is and that they can visit you there if they have a problem or something they
need. Children will seek you out for apparently no reason – they only need a little reassurance.
If time allows they can telephone home to tell their family of their arrival but this should be short so
that there’s no time for tears. Be aware that Belarus and Ukraine are two hours ahead of our time.
Usually their Group Leader has made an arrangement for their parents to telephone her home where
a message of safe arrival will be relayed on by her family.
When telephoning to Belarus or Ukraine – to find the current low-cost services, please visit:
Show them where to find the bathroom and toilet. Also where to find the light switches – a good
idea to leave a landing light on for the first few nights.
It may also be as well to put a fruit juice drink and a biscuit on the table at night so that if they are
up in the morning first they can refresh themselves.
You could put a clock in their room and advise (by a drawing) the time by which they should be up in
the morning, if necessary. There will be no outing or meeting up with the group until the afternoon of
the next day – this will allow them to settle in and un-pack. They will be quite tired this day after the
long journey and the stress of the unknown.
In the afternoon of the next day we often hold our group get-together in a hall to share out the
clothing and have some fun and games and refreshments. Meeting up with the group, and Group
Leader, soon after their arrival helps to allay homesickness and makes them feel more secure after
the first night’s separation from home and family. They are always so excited to exchange stories
with their friends.
Homesickness can be immediate in some, or take 2-3 days to become apparent, or may be
completely absent in some children. During this weepy period – do not be tempted to let them make
frequent calls to home – it delays the recovery from homesickness – the Charity Policy is a phone
call home on arrival and thereafter one call per week of no more than 5 minutes’ duration.
If you have any concerns in this respect allow the child to speak with the Group Leader who will be
able to reassure them.
It is always advisable to use a WATERPROOF MATTRESS COVER in case of accidents – this
is more likely to occur on the first night due to homesickness or simply due to being overtired.
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The Itinerary
A visit to a popular indoor
karting centre - which the
boys particularly love – is
usually on the agenda. It
often coincides with a visit
to paint pots at the
Creative Cafe. Both boys
and girls can choose to do
A wide range of activities will have been arranged for the children. These are either culturally
educational or simply a leisure pursuit, or if we have fine weather – a walk in the woods or
countryside. We usually have a full day’s outing on Mondays and Fridays, when lunch will be in a
cafe. On Wednesdays we usually provide a short morning of ‘school’ – in the form of ‘Fun with
English’ during which they learn English songs, action songs, alphabet and counting. This is followed
by some time set aside for their Russian lessons. After a local lunch out we have an afternoon trip
out – often swimming. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are mostly days to be spent
with the host family – but on these days the Home Visits will be arranged between the Group Leader
and the host family. There may also be a need to use some of this free time for dental or optical
checks. Sometimes it happens that there are one or two activities which have to be done on a
Saturday or a Sunday – for example the visit to the Lifeboat Station is always on a Sunday.
For the families involved in two-week hosting periods – on the change-over Sunday we shall meet
as a group – often over an informal lunch – so that the children see that they are not the only ones
moving on to another host family. Before this day – please arrange with the family to whom the
children are moving to pay a visit to the children’s new family, new home and to see their bedroom.
A detailed ITINERARY of all OUTINGS and visits will be given to everyone before the children
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Host families are often welcome to join in on our trips out – but they are by no means expected to
do so – or relied upon to do so. Host families do like to attend at the Lifeboat Station and it is usually
on the ‘change-over’ day when we often lunch together. Host families also often come, and bring
their own children to our outing to Folly Farm which is in the second period of two-week hosting on a
Saturday. Everyone is welcome, of course to our ‘Farewell Party and Disco’ on the last but one
evening of the four weeks. We all contribute an item of party fare to the party. Children like to dress
‘special’ for this – especially the girls.
Identification. On arrival each child will be given a hat by the Charity – to identify them as belonging
to the Charity. It marks them out in a crowd and makes it easier for you to pick them out. Please
ensure that they wear them on all ‘group occasions’. Put their names inside them as there are only
two varieties – baseball caps for the boys and sunhats for the girls. It also helps to create awareness
of the activities of the Charity. The children take them home with them at the end of the visit.
Tags – if you decide to make a tag for the child to wear – put your own contact details on it, or the
mobile number of the Link Leader – but never the name of the child or your address.
Russian Itinerary. This is usually an abbreviated version of the English one which is written for us
by a member of the Committee so that the children have some idea what is in store for them day by
day and also what to wear.
Packed lunches. It will be indicated on the Itinerary which days will need a packed lunch (again you
can leave out the sweets but a small bar of chocolate is acceptable as well as a piece of fruit please).
There are usually only 2 or 3 occasions when this is required – one of these being on the day of
departure for home.
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Diaries, Photo Albums, Scrap Books
A Record of the Month
Early on in the visit it is desirable for them to start on keeping a record of their month. It would be a
great shame if this ‘holiday of a lifetime’ went unrecorded. The families appreciate seeing this
record, together with appended photos and they are usually excited to introduce their families back
home to their time spent here and to their host family by means of their diary or scrap book.
Please do not let the children do their own photography unattended – when they want to take
photos, try to be around them as they have been known to take inappropriate photos of each other in
their bedrooms. They love posing! It could get us into trouble. Make sure you see all their photos
and that you delete any unsuitable ones. If they are given disposable cameras – do not allow them to
have charge of it unless you are by them - you must see each photo taken as if an inappropriate one
gets to be processed – the processor is bound to involve the police.
At the ‘Farewell Party’ their record of the month will be looked at by the Group Leader and another
person who will declare the strong points of each effort and award small prizes to all. If they know
this – they are more likely to be diligent in producing a good effort.
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Home Visits to
Host Families
The Group Leader and the Link Leader/Chairperson and are accountable for the welfare and
safety of the children during their visit. As part of that responsibility both must visit every child in their
hosting home. The children’s group leader should be provided with the opportunity to chat with the
children privately in their own room – in case they need to express a worry or a problem. The visit
should be made in the first few days of the children`s arrival – so that any enquiries, worries or
concerns can be dealt with immediately. The group leader will ask the children if there is anything
they want to ask of their host family.
The opportunity should also be given to the host parents to express any concerns they may have, to
ask questions about the children’s diet, medications or medical conditions (if any) or allergies
(if any). Maybe the Group Leader may be needed to interpret for them to get a message or two over
to the children as to the expectations of the host family for example ‘house rules’ if these appear not
to have been understood by the children.
The host family needs to realise that too many sweet things – sweets, fizzy drinks etc. – are very bad
news for the children. It ruins their teeth and their immune systems which is the very thing we are
trying to build up. We usually ‘pool’ any sweets the children are given so that they can all share them
– usually on the minibus as this helps to offset the incidence of travel sickness. The occasional treat
is fine of course.
To avoid anxiety or unnecessary upset, we ask that host families refer any concerns directly and
promptly to the Link Leader or another Committee member. It does not matter how small or trivial a
problem may appear – it is always better to seek early advice. We are always `on call` to host
families. All matters will be dealt with respectfully and with confidentiality.
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The Next Few Days
Many of the children will have arrived with little amounts of personal luggage. Please check their
luggage yourself when helping them to unpack. You may find a letter from the child’s parents which
the Group Leader will translate for you. Undoubtedly there will be presents for you and your family
from the children’s family. Be sure to place whatever they give to you in a place of prominence in
your home so that they can see how happy you are to receive them. Giving is part of Russian culture
and the parents will ask their child when they return home if you liked their present.
As previously mentioned there will be a clothing share-out on the afternoon after their arrival –
together with some fun and games and refreshments. Do invite the children to choose clothes for
themselves and their siblings and encourage them by helping them to choose. You will need to pick
up a pair of wellington boots which will be on loan for the month, also maybe some swimwear if
they have none. Encourage the children to take clothes for the next season as well as for the month
of their visit. At the beginning of the clothing share-out you will be handed a large bag which has
donated new underwear, socks and sometimes pyjamas or nightdresses in it. We prefer not to use
donated used underwear.
If you need to supplement what has been collected at the share-out – please clear this with the
Link Leader – we often have donated funds for this purpose. But please make sure first that we do
not have the required items in the clothing bank. If you buy new for them – don’t buy expensive items
as they grow out of them so quickly, we do not want some children to get designer clothing or
footwear whilst others have to have a more economy variety – and keep the receipt if you need to
claim for them. Suggested budget shops are: Asda, Tesco, Peacocks, Primark and Matalan. They
may wonder why they need so much clothing – but we can guarantee that their parents back home
will welcome it. They will come to realise that they are expected to change their clothing much more
frequently than they may do at home – especially in Winter – so they therefore need more clothing.
When they return home they must take with them all the clothing they have brought with them, even if
you think it has had its day. This may have been borrowed from cousins or friends to boost their
supply for the month.
Bedwetting may occur even if the information sheet about the child says that they never wet the bed.
This is more likely to occur at the beginning of their stay because of the stress of the parting from
their family and the long day of travelling to get here. Check their beds discreetly and if it is wet let
them see that it is no trouble to pop the things into the washing machine and that you are not cross
with them.
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Home Visits to Host Families
Hoarding of food. The children may secrete things away in their bedrooms to save for later –
make sure you are on the look out for food that has gone stale or gooey sweets in drawers!
As the visit progresses
Many host families feel that the visit progresses in very distinct stages. The first week the children
are getting used to their new surroundings and may be quite shy at first and may eat very small
portions. However much you feel you ‘don’t want to upset them’ you would be well advised to ‘set
the boundaries’ as soon as possible. By the second week when the children are beginning to feel
established in your home you may well find that they begin to try and ‘push the boundaries’ a bit to
see how much they can get away with.
Please bear in mind that their parents will not thank you for spoiling them. If you have any problems
with the children’s behaviour, please bring this to the attention of the Link Leader and with the help of
the Group Leader they will do what they can to help. They must not be allowed to disrupt your home
and family. However, our experience shows, that the children are generally very well behaved and
once they understand that you are going to be firm about ‘boundaries’ – they will tow the line. In fact
we find that they generally want to please you.
Beware that many of the children, especially the village children, will have very little road sense or
traffic awareness. Their roads are not busy like ours and they could just dash out across a street
without looking.
Please also make sure they respect the peace and tranquillity of others when at leisure pursuits –
we don’t want to give the Charity a bad name and possibly prevent an invitation being issued to us by
the relevant leisure pursuit again.
Above all – treat them as you would your own children – with plenty of love and TLC
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Foods they Like
In the past the children have been unfamiliar with some of our type of food, such as breakfast
cereals. But they are becoming more familiar with them as these foods are gradually creeping into
their supermarkets and market places.
They often eat bread or toast with sausage, salami or cheese for breakfast. They may like one of our
breakfast cereals with banana sliced over it. They often like a cup of tea often without milk. They
love to have a fruit whilst waiting for their breakfast.
They love our fizzy drinks – but these should be kept for occasional special treats. We tend to offer
them fresh fruit juices – especially apple juice.
The children seem to like: our sausages – hot or cold; ham, eggs (often hard boiled), sometimes
bacon, many forms of pasta which they all call ‘macaroni’, pizza, all forms of potato but especially
chips (kartofl fri) and note that the word ‘cheepsi’ means ‘crisps. Don’t mention fish – they imagine
bony river fish that Papa catches in their rivers – so they decline it – but if you serve our white fish or
salmon or fish fingers they seem to love it. They like grated beetroot salad, grated carrot, grated
potato cake fried with slivers of bacon or ham, tomatoes, sweet corn and they eat cucumbers by the
dozen. It is nothing for two children to eat a whole cucumber at one sitting! They don’t like leafy
vegetables or green salad or many of our green cooked vegetables or onion. They love chicken
(cooritza) and also pork – they love it crispy and with the fat left on. Some like our beans in tomato
sauce (fasol sos pomidor). They like mayonnaise, ketchup, yoghurts and sour cream.
Like most children they love ‘fast food’ – we let them have such meals for some of their lunches out
but we like to think that their evening meal is more of a healthy one!
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Doctor, Dentist &
Both Medical matters and Medication as well as allergies will have been discussed with the host
family during the HOME VISIT.
It is the Charity Policy that all visits to doctor/hospital be notified to the children’s Group Leader
immediately so that they are able to attend with the child in order to interpret for the situation and to
reassure the child.
Children are NOT to be given general anaesthetic, except in an emergency, without the Head
Office of the Charity seeking permission from the child’s parents – this can be done quickly and
efficiently through our Minsk/Kiev office who liaise directly with the parents.
The children’s Group Leader and the Link Leaders are always on call to host families 24 hours
a day every day of the children’s stay. Therefore neither may be outside of telephone contact
at any time during the visit.
The ONLY non-prescription medications allowed are ‘CALPOL’ - Children’s elixir of Paracetamol) and
‘Joy Rides’ - travel sickness tablets – or the Chemist’s own brand.
If the child is prone to car sickness – please give one tablet before breakfast on any day when they
will travel anywhere – and please advise the Group Leader if you have given any medication at
all to the child.
It is, however, essential that all other forms of medication are strictly avoided except for a children`s
elixir of paracetamol such as `Calpol`. Do NOT give for stomach pain. Many children have
digestive problems and medications of this nature only aggravate the stomach. Make sure to keep to
the correct dosage – and always inform the Link Leader or Group Leader if you have given any
medication before a day out.
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Early on in the visit – some of the children may need to visit the dentist, accompanied by the
interpreter – our committee Appointments Secretary makes all appointments except for follow-up
appointments. If you make an appointment for a child please make sure the Group Leader is
available to attend. The children will need to be reassured as they are very nervous of any treatments
as they do not always have local anaesthetic available to them at home. The children must NOT be
given a general anaesthetic. Not all parents will have given permission for fillings or an extraction.
Not all children will need an eye test. However, an appointment can be reserved for your children
and unless the Group Leader can assure us that the child is being given regular eye checks at home
– this appointment will stand.
A GP visit may be necessary. If so, advise the Link Leader/Chairperson beforehand so that the
interpreter is brought along to reassure the child and interpret for the doctor. Most GP`s will agree to
see the child free under the `Temporary Residents` arrangement. Do not accept a charge from your
doctor because the Link Leader’s GP will see all children free. This treatment is ONLY for symptoms
which have developed whilst the children are with us – and it is a MISUSE of the system to ask the
doctor to address a health problem which was pre-existing before the visit.
In the event of any MEDICAL EMERGENCY contact the emergency service first – then
immediately contact the Link Leader/ Chairperson – even if this should occur at night – so that the
Group Leader can be brought to the child. This is because treatment should not be given without
knowing the medical history of the child which is held by the Group Leader. If the situation warrants it
and especially if you fail to make contact with the above mentioned people – telephone Mr Victor
Mizzi on 01428 642523 or his mobile:
07710 464912. In extreme circumstances if any delay in treating the child would cause harm to the
child you should do as you would for your own child, follow the instructions of the emergency services
– but keep trying to make contact with the above-mentioned people.
Link Leader – Carole – 01348 811325 or 07891 956177
Deputy – Tony – 01348 891332 OR David or Charmian – 01348 811245 or 07974 912685
Richard or Jenny – 01348 873733; Roger or Susan – 01239 820822; Dilys – 01348 872181.
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Trips Out
A good range of activities will have been pre-arranged for
the group, or any families of the group who wish to
participate, during the month. Host families are most
welcome to join in with the activities – but the opportunity
can also be taken to have a break from the caring for the
children. Please ensure that the Chairperson of the Link is
given some notice if your children are unable to attend. If
an emergency arises making it difficult to deliver or pick up
the children for a trip please contact the Chairperson as
soon as possible. Similarly, every effort will be made to
contact you in the event of our timings being
delayed/altered. Please ensure that the children wear
appropriate clothing (often wellington boots) and bring
swimwear and towels if the trip requires them.
On a trip to Pembroke Castle
Please be aware that during the first few days of their
visit, they may be prone to tiring rather easily, so we
try to choose easy-going outings during the first
week to ten days.
MEMENTOES – This visit is the `trip of a lifetime` for
our young visitors. Please don`t let the special
occasions pass by unrecorded. A small notebook for
them to diary the events of their stay is a good idea.
Also a small photograph album/scrapbook so that
they can safeguard mementoes such as brochures,
tickets and photographs would also be a good idea.
It is also a suggestion that they be encouraged to be
unselfish by getting something small for their
brothers, sisters, best friend back home.
Please see chapter on the ‘Itinerary’.
All aboard Fishguard Life boat
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A Few More Thoughts
CAR RIDING. The children may not be used to travelling around in cars and even a short
journey in a warm, perhaps airless car could cause a spot of travel-sickness. If any of your visitors
seem prone, use a children`s travel-sickness remedy such as `Joy-Rides`. This should be given
before breakfast on the day of travel. And please advise the Group Leader if any medication has
been given.
USEFUL TIP - CALENDAR. To orientate them to a timetable of events, if you have a
spare calendar to post up in their bedroom, mark off the days of the week every night. One of our
committee usually produces copies of the Itinerary in Russian for each child. Then each night as
they go to bed you can draw their attention to what is arranged for the next day. Of course some
days will inevitably be rest days at home – but don`t forget – children are more hard work and tiring if
you don`t keep them occupied.
WALL CLOCK. When they go to bed at night, it might make life easier if an explanation
was made with regard to the expected time of getting up, especially on days when an outing is
planned and an early start is required. It might also serve you well if you were to point out the earliest
time that you are willing for them either to come into your bedroom in the morning or to put music or
video on. (Our visitors loved an early morning cartoon whilst they were waiting for breakfast to
RULES(Dare we mention the word?) Obviously you don`t want to make many rules – but
please do observe certain of our Charity Policies –and do start off the way you wish to carry on – the
right understanding from the start is easier than trying to change the way things are done after habits
have been formed.
THINGS TO KEEP AND THINGS ON LOAN. It was very difficult to get the children to
understand which items were presents (padaruk), and which were on loan. Beware!
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TELEPHONING HOME: Some of the children may have a home phone, or one at
the workplace of a parent or a nearby contact number which will be on the Child Details Form. See
Appendix 2 for details of telephoning to Belarus and Ukraine. A child who is homesick will often
feel better if he can speak in his own language to a friend from among the group who is staying
locally with another host family. However, one has to be aware that it is possible to get onto the
slippery slope where children are asking to telephone to each other too frequently. It should,
therefore, be understood from the outset that it is a special treat to be used on a special occasion,
when you dictate.
INTERPRETTING. The Group Leader/interpreter and often other link committee members
are always available to talk or listen to any of the children if they have any problems. Belarussian
children speak predominantly Russian whereas Ukrainian children’s first language is often Ukrainian
– but they do have lessons through the medium of Russian. Drawings, mime and actions also work
well as well as translation programmes on computers. However some of the children may surprise
you at how quick they come to understand English and even to speak enough to make you
understand – offer them access to your phrase book as well ! The child may also benefit by being
allowed, with your permission and supervision only, to connect to the Internet for the purpose of
translation. Some useful Russian words and phrases can be found in the Glossary in Appendix 1
at the end of this Handbook.
PHOTOGRAPHS. Many letters have been received from home telling leaders how much
the photographs the children have brought home have been appreciated. If possible, take
photographs of the children showing a variety of the things they have been doing, including: ones in
their room, at the meal table, playing in your garden, on outings, showing off achievements etc.
These photographs will act as an aide-de-memoire and provide their family, their classmates and
friends with talking points. They will also want to take home photographs of their host family and
pets. Please do not allow the children to take their own photographs whilst you are not
around them as it has been known that inappropriate photographs have been taken without
knowledge of the host family. This is particularly relevant when films are used and have to be sent
away for processing. Please inspect all digital photography and delete any inappropriate photos.
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Preparations for Departure
The Link will provide each child with a ‘laundry bag’ for their extra luggage.
LUGGAGE: The luggage for the `hold` must not exceed 30 kgs per child – any bags weighing
over this amount cause great disappointment as the children see their bag being opened and articles
being taken out and discarded. The charity will not pay for excess baggage. A cabin bag is allowed
of not more than 5 (FIVE) kgs. Large reinforced laundry zipped bags (the type sold in markets and
on pound stalls) are ideal in which to pack the HOLD LUGGAGE. All bags must be securely
fastened and labelled and must not contain anything fragile. It is also advisable to stick parcel tape
around the whole bag and over the zip – to help prevent the possible removal of items by any
officials. The group leader will write out all luggage labels.
No one bag must weigh more than 23 kg – but total hold luggage is 30 kg.
SAYING GOODBYE. This is always a difficult time – as much for the children as for the host family.
They have the excitement and anticipation of being re-united with their families who love them and
will be eagerly awaiting their return. But naturally, the children will have mixed feelings – between the
anticipation of their return home and the leaving of the host family (probably never to meet up again
barring exceptional circumstances). These feelings may be eased by the exchange of addresses
and promises of written contact. You could even provide them with some self-addressed envelopes –
but invariably they will use an air letter form. You can help them to look forward to their return home
by mentioning often how much their family will be looking forward to having them home again. They
can mark the days off on their calendar in the last week before their return home. You can also help
them to wrap the small gifts they have got to give to their family. They could even telephone home
the night before leaving.
If you wish to send with them some small gifts – some suggestions are: scented soaps and
shampoo; tea; coffee; chocolate; biscuits; some souvenir from your area like a fridge magnet or a TTowel.
The child will need a picnic packed please for their return journey as it will be a long one.
ONE LAST COMMENT - We have added notes of our own personal comments and experiences in
order to bring this handbook down to a more personal level. We feel that by sharing our thoughts
and reflections with our host families, our `link` will be forged and thereby go from strength to
strength. We do recognise the loyalty and support we have received from our host families, and we
thank you all sincerely.
We hope this work for the CCLL will bring us new and lasting friendships.
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Return Visits
It is possible to invite a child to return on a ‘private visit’, in this case the person inviting the child
becomes responsible for the cost of the return visit. The visit can be for any length of time from 14 –
28 days. As the child cannot travel alone – she/he must travel on the same flight as another
member/group of the CCL. Whilst the host family are members of the CCL each private visit must
be arranged through the Charity, either directly with Head Office or with the assistance of the
Chairperson of their local link. The Charity are prepared to make all arrangements on behalf of the
inviting family subject to that family agreeing to abide by the Code of Conduct issued by the Charity
in respect of private visits. Please note that the Charity is unable to assist anyone who makes direct
arrangements for a repeat visit.
Each host family shall be given a copy of the Code of Conduct which should be returned to the Head
Office together with the remittance covering air fares and any applicable visas. If the host family fails
to return the signed copy of the Code of Conduct the Charity reserve the right to cancel the visit.
All return visits must be paid for by the inviting host and not from Link funds UNLESS A
We ask you to please complete a Gift Aid form where possible as this will help fund the cost of
administration of the Head Office for which the Links make no contribution.
If Link Members hold fund-raising events to fund a private visit – this must NOT be done in the name
of the Charity and it must be made known to the supporters of the fundraising event that the money is
being raised for the specific purpose of bringing that child to the UK.
Hosts making repeat bookings are asked to inform the Chairperson of the Link of their intentions but
may deal directly with Head Office. This avoids any confusion or double booking and also ensures
that details of the host and the repeat visitor are correct. If a Link wishes to offer to make
arrangements on behalf of the host family they may do so but it is not compulsory.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Sending Letters, Parcels and Gifts
to the Children
Whilst the postal service in Belarus has improved, letters do sometimes still go missing in both
directions between Belarus and the UK. Do NOT SEND MONEY by post – it will not arrive and it is
illegal to do so. If an individual wishes to send money to a family, Head Office can usually arrange
for it to be taken by hand to the CCL office in Minsk, or for a sum to be transferred if the recipient has
a Bank Account (this incurs a transfer fee of £7-50). Please contact Head Office for more
Duty is paid on parcels received in Belarus. Families may not be in a position to pay this sum so
sending items by post is not recommended. Please do not send expensive electronic equipment.
Please only use Royal Mail to send parcels as the recipient can be charged up to double the courier
weight in duties before they can collect the parcel. Parcels sent by Royal Mail should not exceed 2
kg in weight and charges can be checked at
Parcels are sometimes sent to the UK from Belarus with CCL groups. These are collected at the
airport and will be posted on to the addressee but the recipient will be asked to pay for the postage.
Please do not offer to supply equipment to schools or hospitals directly without consulting Head
Supply of medicines to Belarus and Ukraine. On occasions there may be times when Links are
asked for medications by a child’s parent. It is illegal to send medications to Belarus without the
proper clearances from both the UK and the Belarusian/Ukrainian authorities. Please ring Head
Office if there is a serious need and you will be given up to date advice on how to proceed. This
does not affect medications that can be purchased over the counter.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Privately funded Visits to
Belarus or Ukraine
Link members may wish to visit the families of children they have hosted or with whom they have
formed a bond. Costs of such trips are met by the individual traveller.
The Charity is prepared to make all arrangements for the traveller subject to his agreeing to abide by
the Code of Conduct issued by the Charity in respect of private visits. A copy of this will be sent
with the invitation to the traveller and a signed copy is to be returned to Head Office together
with the required remittance.
When in Belarus it is a requirement that all visitors register with the police in the area they are
visiting and each time they move on to a new district. Failure to do so may incur detention and a fine.
Further information can be obtained by enquiring with CCL Head Office – 01428 642523
When applying for entry visas - details of dealing with the Belarus Embassy can be found in the CCL
‘Policy Document’ held by the Link Leader. No visa is at present required for entry into Ukraine.
Misha shows his brass rubbing done at Pembroke Castle
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Who is Hosting for the Forthcoming
Visit to the Link ?
Contact details of all hosts, standby hosts and support hosts will be circulated to everyone involved in
the visit by email. Contact details of ALL COMMITTEE MEMBERS will be listed at the end of the
ITINERARY and also in this Handbook for Host Families.
You will also be notified of some details of the children who are being hosted by your family. The
Link usually receives these details approximately 2-3 weeks before the children arrive.
‘Hosts’ Get-Together’ social evening will be held during January or early February to help all
host families to get to know each other in preparation for the February Group Visit.
The Finalised Itinerary should then be circulated together with this Handbook.
We also usually hold a ‘Hosts’ wrap-up’ social evening after the visit – when it would be appropriate
(to save committee members a lot of journeys to host families) for host families to return items which
have been given to them ‘on loan’. For example: we would like to take back – booster seats;
wellington boots; and this copy of the Host Family Handbook – please.
If you have had any Welsh rugby shirts or tops for St. David’s Day – we would also like any that came
from the clothing share-out back to put into the share-out again for next year
Thank you everyone/Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi gyd.
Chernobyl Children Life Line – North Pembrokeshire Link - Web Site:
Dial: 00 375 + home phone number leaving off the first 0
To discount calls DIAL: 0911 922 4646 then wait for the prompt
before continuing with: 00 375 + home number leaving off the first
0 and finishing with #
Dial: 00 380 + home phone number leaving off the first ‘0’
Dial: 0871 551 4646 then wait for prompt to continue with 00 380
+ home number (or mobile) leaving off the first ‘0’ and finishing
with #
THE COST eg. Undiscounted they can be between 50p and 80p
per minute whereas discounted they range from 12p per minute
(landline) and 18p per minute (mobile).
There are many discounting companies operating low cost calls –
find them on the internet. To find the current low-cost service visit:
CCLL has a duty of care to safeguard and protect all children from harm. All children have a right to
protection and their needs and potential vulnerability must be taken into account at all times. CCLL will
ensure the safety and protection of all children under its care by insisting its member adhere to the following guidelines:
Most children are loved and cherished by parents, carers and communities. Similarly most people working with children
recognise they are in a special position with respect to the influence and power they wield. CCLL recognises it needs to
be vigilant since those who want to abuse and harm children exist in all societies, cultures and organisations.
CHILD ABUSE - particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to
understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.
Children and young people need protection and safeguarding for many reasons.
They may need protection from the effects of poverty, disadvantage, exclusion and violence. In addition to these
economic, social and political problems affecting large numbers of children, individual children may also be at risk from
specific forms of abuse by adults or other children. All children have the right to protection from all forms of physical or
mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse,
while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has the care of the child.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the recreational environment.
Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them.
A Group Leader, Link Member or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an
important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice
should be reported following the guidelines in this document.
Defining child abuse is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse a child by inflicting harm, or by
failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family, institution or community setting, by those
known and trusted to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
PHYSICAL INJURY: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning,
suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child including fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately causing, ill
health to a child.
NEGLECT: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to
result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development, such as failing to provide
adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: persistent or emotional ill treatment of a child that adversely affects their
development. May involve conveying to a child that they are worthless,
unloved, and inadequate, there only to meet the needs of another; or where inappropriate
expectations are imposed upon them. In addition it includes children who are regularly frightened,
exploited or corrupted.
SEXUAL ABUSE: involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the
child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative
or non-penetrative acts. This may also include involving children in looking at, or in the production of
pornographic material or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
The following points will aid prevention of Child Abuse and all Link members should be made aware of
them as a matter of course. These points should be reinforced at regular intervals to ensure all Members, both new and
existing implement these at all times:
Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
Ensure children know that there are adults whom they can approach if they are worried.
Ensure all volunteers are aware of the steps to follow should they have any concerns.
The Chair should keep written records of any concerns observed or reported about children, even where there is no need
to refer the matter immediately
DO set an example you would wish others to follow
DO treat all young people equally show no favouritism
DO respect a young persons right to personal privacy
DO avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust
DO allow young people to talk about any concerns they may have
DO encourage others to challenge any attitudes or behaviours they do not like
DO avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour e.g. tantrums and crushes
DO remember this code even at sensitive moments e.g. when responding to bullying, bereavement or abuse
DO keep other people informed of where you are and what you are doing
DO remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
DO remember to protect yourself
DO take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately
DO ensure your Link has a standby family who would be prepared to take a child/ren in the event that emergency
placement is required. The standby family must be CRB/CRBS cleared
DO contact Head Office with serious concerns as Links may not contact the Belarusian or Ukraine Embassies directly
DO NOT trivialise abuse
DO NOT form a relationship with a young person, that is an abuse of trust
DO NOT engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact . physical, verbal, sexual
DO NOT make suggestive remarks or threats to a young person, even in fun
DO NOT use inappropriate language . writing, phoning, email or internet
DO NOT let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported
DO NOT just rely on your good name to protect you
Final page.