A concert is to be held in Kelso’s Old Parish Church on Saturday, February 15, to raise funds for the Borders branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.
The Langlee Community Choir will be peforming the sounds of Olly Murs, Abba, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Simon and Garfunkel, Puccini, Verdi and much more.
The Borders branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is a national charity working to offer children in radiation-affected areas of Belarus a month-long healthy holiday in the UK.
In April of 1986, a catastrophic failure of the containment systems at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, in what is now the Ukraine, resulted in the worst nuclear accident the world had seen, and the largest release of nuclear contaminants, much of which settled on neighbouring Belarus.
As a consequence of the land becoming contaminated, the population of Belarus, particularly in the Brest and Gomel regions, face increased risks from a range of radiation related health difficulties, including cancers, heart and respiratory defects and blindness.
Add to this poverty, high unemployment figures, and minimal health provision in many of the rural areas, and it becomes clear that life, for many Belarusians, can be hard.
The Scottish Borders branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line was formed in 2001, and first supported a visit from children from Belarus the following year. Since then, the group has been able to bring more than 100 children from the Brest region of Belarus to the Borders and Northumberland, raising over £50,000 to do so.
While here, the children stay with host families in the area, visiting local attractions, and benefiting from visits to local opticians and dentists and from receiving donated clothes and shoes for themselves and also their siblings and other family members.
As a result of their four weeks in the Borders, an area free of the radiation which blights the land in Belarus, children return home with their health improved, and with an immune system more capable of fighting off the typical illnesses that growing children face, positively impacting their health, their education (through reduced absences arising from illness), and, ultimately, their prospects of remaining cancer free into young adulthood.
Tickets for the concert, priced £8, are available from Waldie’s Family Butcher’s, Greenlaw and Duns News Plus.