Healing Land | The Chernobyl meltdown was the biggest nuclear catastrophe in world history. 99 per cent of the Belarusian land has been contaminated to varying degrees above internationally accepted levels as a direct result of the disaster. The villages and towns that are in close proximity to the epicenter of the reactor have been eerily abandoned and remain desolate.
The people of Belarus are very self-sufficient, they grow their own crops and vegetables, farm livestock and source water from nearby lakes and reservoirs. With 70% of contamination coming from food and water however, the poisoned earth continues to infect those that depend on it.
An astonishing 85 per cent of Belarusian children are deemed to be Chernobyl victims: they carry “genetic markers” that could affect their health at any time and can be passed on to the next generation. A vicious cycle that unfortunately could continue for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The government of Belarus and the Ukraine established that all affected children should leave the contaminated regions for at least one month abroad every year. They believed the fresh air and uncontaminated food would give the children a vital boast to their immune system.
The Chernobyl children’s lifeline was founded to help affected children receive the recuperation they so vitally need. The charity carried out scientific research to determine whether a clean environment would benefit those affected. From 4000 children that were examined the results determined that the radioactive elements in a child before and after a 4 week visit to the U.K dropped by an average of 68 per cent. The immune system of a Chernobyl child needs a kick-start to help fight potential illnesses and diseases.
This year 8 children were brought to the pristine county of Pembrokeshire in West Wales, U.K. the region is considered an area of outstanding natural beauty. The environment boasts clean air quality, blue flag beaches and spectacularly dense woodland and breath taking countryside views.
The children participate in a number of recreational and educational activities and outings during their stay, from long sunny days at the beach to indoor karting. They also receive free medical check ups including eye tests and dental appointments to ensure a clean bill of health. The aim of the charity is to make the experience as enjoyable as possible while the clean air and unpolluted land takes its natural course of healing the wounds. www.markgriffithsphotography.com