August 2, 2008

Chernobyl Pair Enjoy a Break

STUDENTS from Belarus visited Henley College in Coventry.

Youngsters who have been affected by the Chernobyl disaster were flown to Britain for a holiday.

The group of eight girls, from Belarus, are staying with host families within Coventry and Warwickshire for two weeks.

Their first stop was Henley College, for a chance to play football, rounders and pool.

The girls, aged 13 to 19, were picked by the Chernobyl Children's Project, a charity which provides recuperative holidays in the UK for about 400 children affected by the1986 disaster.

Doctors in Belarus say that four weeks of fresh air and uncontaminated food can boost their immune system and prolong life by two years.

Marion Ainslow, aged 56, of Cheshire Close, Bilton, Rugby, is a catering officer at Henley College and will act as a host family for two of the girls.

Her husband, Ray, died of cancer, aged 64, while they were on holiday in the Lake District five years ago.

She said: "The project seemed a good idea for all of us."

Olga Labanovich, 19, and Victoriya Titova, 18, have just recovered from Hodgkin's disease.

Olga lives with her father and older sister in Minsk, Belarus, and hopes to study psychology at university next year.

She said: "It is the first time I have been on a plane and the people are very friendly.

"I'm very happy to be here and I hope my stay will be joyful and fun."

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