In the month that marks the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, we had the privilege to have Adi Roche, founder of Chernobyl Children International (CCI), sharing a message of courage and hope with all Carne staff.
The radioactive explosion occurred in what is now northern Ukraine, making the world witnesses the biggest nuclear catastrophe of the 20th century, impacting the lives of millions of people for generations.
Adi Roche started working on Chernobyl in the immediate aftermath of the accident and formally founded the Chernobyl Children International organisation in 1991 when she read the faxed appeal sent by Belarusian and Ukrainian doctors to save the children badly affected by the tragedy. To give these children the respite they needed from the radioactivity and suffering, Adi encouraged families in Ireland to open their homes and welcome the children in a healthy and safe environment. This remains one of the organisation´s core programmes, with over 25,600 children being welcomed in Irish homes.
The Chernobyl disaster may seem in the distant past to some people, but it’s a very present tragedy for those who live in the areas affected. Adi’s mission remains to alleviate the suffering of children with unique diseases who have been neglected and traumatised. She is also working tirelessly to continue bringing the world’s attention to the social and economic damage left by the radioactive footprint in future generations of Chernobyl victims.
“The work of our organization is about love and hope. It’s about the ability to reach out and take the challenge to make the world a better place”.
Over the past thirty-five years, Chernobyl Children International has put programmes in place that enable children and families to regain their autonomy and happiness. They currently offer health and therapeutic care, the ‘Homes of Hope’, with thirty houses providing over 300 children with a family home of their own, and have also been working closely with authorities and other organisations to build and repair orphanages and day-care centres.
To mark ‘UN Chernobyl Remembrance Day’ and the 35th anniversary of the tragedy, Chernobyl Children International launched a candle lighting campaign to spread a message of hope to all the victims of the disaster.
At Carne, we have been privileged to be able to support the life-changing work carried out by CCI. On the 26th of April, we joined Adi and other people across the globe, lighting a candle as a symbol of hope and a message to the people of Chernobyl that we will not forget them.