Legambiente Appeal for the children of Chernobyl

A serious nuclear accident took place on April 26th 1986 inside the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukraine, and only 12 km from Bielorussia. The radioactive fall-out was to have an immediate effect, seriously contaminating Russia, Bielorussia and the Ukraine. Later the radioactive cloud was to reach Poland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Greece, Italy, Austria and many other areas in north western Europe. An environmental disaster like the one at Chernobyl also creates thousands of hidden problems, thousands of doubts, and has incalculable results. The latest information tells us that thousands died after this explosion in the Ukraine, Bielorussia and Russia, including thousands of the "liquidators" (the so-called specialists who worked on the burial of the reactor in its tomb of cement). Three and a half million Ukrainians, half of them children, have contracted various types of illness as a result of radioactive contamination. Several million people still live in the polluted areas and continue to eat food containing a considerable amount of radionuclides.

Painting of some children of Chernobyl
However the children are those who have been affected the worst. The number of sick children has increased alarmingly: by November 1995, the ascertained cases of thyroid tumours among children from Bielorussia alone were over 400, while they could be counted on the fingers of one hand in 1986. Most of the children living in the contaminated zones today were born after Chernobyl; now the power plant simply represents part of their way of life, which means being permanently threatened by illness. Legambiente's Chernobyl Project is a solidarity campaign aimed for the most part towards children, without doubt those most at risk from the damage caused by the radioactive isotopes. The campaign consists in bringing children from the areas contaminated by the explosion of the nuclear power station to Italy for a month's holiday. A delegation from Legambiente makes a yearly visit to the contaminated areas to deliver all the medicines that have been requested directly to the hospital units. The hospitals in fact do not have any of the basic medicines and the doctors have to anxiously await the arrival of humanitarian help to be able to cure their young patients. Contributions towards medicines and hospital equipment can be made to postal account 11153582. Please make it out to Legambiente, via Tripoli 27 - 58100 Grosseto and specify Progetto Chernobyl on the form.

See also: Let us help the children of Chernobyl

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