Valentina is the Director of "Hope to Children in Trouble" and without her energy and drive this organization would not be able to continue doing the wonderful things they do for children and their families effected by the disaster of Chernobyl. I have known her for over seventeen years and we have acheived a great deal between us through good times and bad, now that we are both getting older and are not so active we have to rely on those who are younger and fitter but we are still able to do a great amount of good for so many children. It has not been possible for "Hope to Children in Trouble" to send many children abroad in recent years for a number of complex reasons, so if you are reading this I would like to appeal to you to make it possible in 2014 to send as many children as possible abroad from this organization.
Letter from Valentina Pokhomova. Director and Founder of "Hope to Children in Trouble" and our partners in Belarus
Nearly 30 years have passed since the catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the resultant consequences to those particularly in the Gomel Region of Belarus who were showered with radioactive fallout.
It was 25 years ago, prompted by despair and uncertainty that the fund "Hope to Children in Trouble" was established with the primary objective to rescue children with cancers due entirely to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. None of those involved could just sit back seeing children suffer without doing something to help, they hoped for a rapid and successful outcome from the measures that they and the state put in place but the harsh and merciless march by some of the most dangerous cancers was unstoppable and has meant in many cases recovery taking 10 to 15 years of endless medication, complex and painful treatment in hospitals a long way from home and their families, resulting in many cases in death.
During the 25 years of the funds existence the "Black List" of children that have died has totalled 160 and is still rising and so far this year 2015 another 4 children have left us.
These are the 4 Children who have died so far this year.
Sasha Akulenko 17 years. Brain Cancer.
Sasha Virt 10 years. Brain Cancer.
Polina Matushenko 10 years. Eye Cancer.
Anna Radchenko 10 years. Brain Cancer.
As you can imagine the death of each of these children has left a deep wound in the hearts of their parents, loved ones and friends including those of us in the fund. These fantastic children all loved life, always cheerful and continued to beleive that they would get over their illness, but sadly they did not and so never had the time to enjoy a life that could have been so full of promise and what all of us wish for, their voices, laughter and shouts of pure joy are now silenced forever.
The fund cannot give up on any child while there is hope and we will do everything in our power to help whatever the terrible diagnosis tells us.
The number of families in which there are one or more children with cancer unfortunately dosen't get any better, at the moment our fund has 398 sick and distabled children under 18 years old, amongst these children there are babies, whose parents where in the fund when they were young children, radiation has no respect for families and can pass from generation to generation, these young parents who in many cases have had and survived cancer due to radiation problems turn grey from the idea that their terrible fate has spread to their own children. The help we can give all our families with these problems is not only material and humanitarian but also psychological, and in some cases financial.
Unfortunately during the last 30 years peoples perception is that the problems from the Chernobyl Disaster have largely disappeared and so the amount of support the fund gets has dramatically diminished over the years, but as we are seeing the huge health problems still go on from one generation to another so it is just as important now that the fund is able to respond with not only the various forms of aid but with essential medicines and vitamins, the Belarusian state has limited resources so families who in spite of being on very low incomes still have to provide for daily doses of not only various expensive vitamins but other medicines such as Thyroxin, none of which are cheap so the fund tries to provide these things. Children who have undergone a long course of chemo or radio therapy need to have special vitamins and nutrition to kick start their immune systems and quickly if they are going to survive.
The fund is lucky in that over the 25 years they have been able to find clinics in Germany and Italy where some of their children can go and have free medical procedures.
However the recovery and rehabilitation holidays that until a few years ago this fund was able to take advantage of for the children, primarily in the UK, which gave recovereing cancer children such wonderful help have been stopped for various unexplained reasons and so they are not now available to our fund's children in the Gomel Region where we operate, we hope that one day this situation will change so that our children will get the benifit from these wonderful recovery holidays.
The fund still has two reliable sponsors who are able to give us financial help, one is a Japanese Charity who makes it possible for some of our recovering cancer children to have a holiday at the "Nadezhda" Recreational and Health Centre in the Minsk Region, the other is the UK charity "Belarusian Victims of Chernobyl" who not only gives us financial help but also provides us with valuable amounts of aid for our families delivered from the UK.
The fund also helps in many different ways to make life better for our families with very sick children, parties at Christmas with presents of food and toys and other social events during the year. Hopefully with continuing support from Japan, UK and Germany the fund can continue the work it has been doing for 25 years, but we honestly need support from anybody who cares and from wherever you live in the world, any amount will be put to good use to support our families, so if you can send a donation via this website to Peter Pratt at www.bvoc.org or firstname.lastname@example.org Peter guarantees that 100% of any donation will be passed on to us.
With kind regards and best wishes,
Valentina Pokhomova. Director. "Hope to Children in Trouble". < New text box >>