The following news release was sent out on Friday 22nd March, 2002:
Aid Convoy will be setting out on their tenth humanitarian aid convoy on Friday 22nd March 2002. This trip will take mostly educational supplies to the Chernobyl region of Ukraine, a country on the Eastern edge of Europe and formerly part of the Soviet Union.
Since 1999, local volunteers from Aid Convoy have been collecting aid from people in their base of Brighton together with other areas of the UK, and delivering it to people in need in countries including Kosova, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Ukraine. The trips are entirely funded by the generosity of individuals.
The aid takes the form of food, clothing, educational materials for schools, medical equipment for hospitals, and has previously included even complete ambulances and heating systems.
For this forthcoming trip they are concentrating on educational supplies including stationery, books, and computers, for schools and childrens’ homes. In Ukraine the state is generally able to supply food and shelter to orphanages and childrens’ homes, but often fails completely to provide an education for the children. Some of the children have been abandoned due to their medical conditions, which can be attributed to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 15 years ago. These children stand little chance of leading normal independent lives when they grow up, because they have no preparation for the world of work. Some become institutionalised for life.
Aid Convoy is working directly with Ukrainian volunteers who are endeavouring to prevent this by helping the caring but often unpaid staff at the homes to provide an education for the children.
In Brighton, individuals and businesses have been generous in providing such things as stationery and redundant computer equipment, which are transported overland by volunteers in “aid convoys”. As usual we are also transporting toys and warm clothing, much of which has been lovingly made by local people who have heard about us in previous articles in the local press.
We always welcome further donations of all items suitable for schools and childrens’ home, and ask anybody with further interest to contact us and explore our website at www.aidconvoy.net