Smiles all round after rest and recuperation finishes

Some of the Belarusian children and their translators with Jim Kavanagh of the Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group pictured at the disco in O'Louglin Gaels GAA Ground last Friday night before they travelled back to Belarus on Sunday morning. Photo: Pat Moore.
Cherished memories were formed in recent weeks when 26 Belarussian children enjoyed four weeks of rest and recuperation in the Marble City.

Cherished memories were formed in recent weeks when 26 Belarussian children enjoyed four weeks of rest and recuperation in the Marble City.

There were emotional scenes at Shannon Airport last Sunday as the host families and children said their goodbyes. The families opened their homes and hearts to the children who come from impoverished backgrounds including institutions and homes in areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. This year 17 counties took children as part of the rest and recuperation programme.

The children’s time here in Kilkenny has been jam packed with fun-filled activities including day trips to Foto Wildlife Park and Kilkenny Airsoft.

O’Loughlins Gaels held their annual kid’s disco for the children and Castlecomer Boy’s school’s fundraising allowed the youngsters enjoy a trip to Kilkenny Omniplex.

Last Sunday saw the children’s departure from Shannon Airport, however some families can look forward to the return of some of the children at Christmas.

“We have had a fantastic four weeks, it’s always emotional saying goodbye to all the children, however we loved every minute with the children and their time here is always precious, we look forward to their next trip already,” said host family Carmel Everard.

“The rest and recuperation programme depends on donations from the public, on behalf on the Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group I would like to thank people who continue to donate and allow this programme to be a possibilty,” said group leader Jim Kavanagh.