This month we have looked a little more like a different kind of Chernobyl charity — hosting some Ukrainian young people in the UK! There are several groups who bring children from the area to the UK, partly to simply give them a happy holiday away from their orphanage or impoverished circumstances, but also for their health; “de-tox” is a very real need for people living in the contaminated areas, who are advised to spend at least one month of every year somewhere where they will receive a much lower background dose than at home.
However, this wasn’t us moving into that area — there are others who do it very well. In fact, we were hosting two young people from the Our Generation youth group. This was in part a kind of a cultural exchange, and they were able to meet some people here who were of interest to them, including school teachers, other teenagers, and such like. They observed our youth culture in action! They were also able to visit some of the charity volunteers they already knew — but this time, at the volunteers’ homes.
Getting them here involved a great deal of effort by one of the volunteers, working on the travel visas. That same volunteer very generously covered their travel expenses. We hope that the experience will help to show them how much we value the fact that it is their own creativity and imagination that makes most of our projects happen, with us acting as enablers rather than controllers.