How you can help!

Each Link of the Charity has a certain amount of Autonomy in the way they operate. In Mid Suffolk this is what we do and how you can help. 

Becoming a Host Family

We bring groups of children to the UK for health respite breaks once or twice a year from Belarus. The children are not ill when they travel as each must have a "certificate of health" before they are allowed to leave Belarus.

The criteria for selection is that the child must:

     * Never have traveled abroad before;

     * Be from a family that cannot afford to send them for health   recuperation;

     * Live in an area of Belarus that is still affected by the contamination from Chernobyl.

As a Charity our work is not directly aimed at dealing with poverty, however the criteria of selection dictates that the children who come are generally from the very poorest of families.

The children stay with Host families in the locality but meet every day from 8.30am until 4.30 pm Monday to Friday at our base, Stowmarket Football Club. Evenings and weekends are spent with the Host Family. This means that you can still host even if you have to work or want to follow other interests during the day.

We have a complete program during the month which includes various outings and activities for the children but most importantly, visits to the Dentist and Opticians. The children create many “forever” memories that they look back on for years to come. Please visit our video section to see how much the children have enjoyed their time with us and you.

Donations 

The children arrive with only the clothing they travel in, we must provide everything else so we are constantly looking for donations of good quality “nearly new” clothing for ages 6 to 10 and generally more girls than boys are in the groups that come to us. We provide new school uniforms, shoes and trainers and each child receives a “School in a bag” which is a rucksack complete with stationery so they can be equipped for school on their return and save the parents the expense of buying them. The bags also have a fluorescent strip to help with safety when walking to and from school in the dark winter months.

We also give each child a quantity of basis medical items to take home with them to their families. Many of these are extremely simple items that we take for granted but that they are not able to find or afford. We have a list available on request of all the items we need and we have labels translated into Russian so they can take them home with full instructions on usage.

Toys for the children in Cancer Hospital

Support children in the Cancer Hospital in Minsk and collect good quality soft toys to give to them on our annual visits.

Christmas Stocking Program - Father Frost Special Delivery

We organise a “Father Frost” Special Delivery Christmas Stocking program. During the year we prepare between 250 and 300 Christmas Stockings filled with gifts the children would never otherwise receive and we then take these to various schools, hospitals and other institutions to give to the children. The children we see will not receive any other gift at Christmas and indeed this will probably be the first time they ever receive a gift of this nature so we intentionally do not include typical “Shoe Box” or items of necessity such as toiletries etc as this is intended to give the poorest of children something to remember and joy at this very special time of year.

Won't you be a part of what we do?

There are many ways you can help and become part of our “family”; If you cannot Host them maybe you could help at our Day Centre, Volunteer at our Charity shop for a few hours or help to gather some of the essential items that we need for each visit. Please get in touch, there is always something you can do to help and no matter how small you think your contribution may be, it is always of value to us.

With best wishes to all our supporters,

Elizabeth L Parker,  Link Chair


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