Green Cross Therapy Camps help children from impoverished families living in areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster. The four-week programme includes communal activities with games and sport in non-contaminated areas, along with vitamin-rich food and essential medical therapy.
The spirited seven-year-old Katia is just one of the children being helped by the Green Cross Therapy Camps, an important part of the Social and Medical Care (SOCMED) programme. Katia lives with her parents in the city of Gomel, Belarus and suffers from severely impaired vision. Without permanent therapy, the small girl’s left eye will become totally blind. In Gomel, Katia attends a kindergarten supported by Green Cross. Katia’s mother works as a cleaning lady, and her father as carpenter. The poor wages are only enough to feed the family.
The Chernobyl reactor catastrophe in 1986 affected a quarter of Belarus with detrimental radiation – and Gomel lies in one of the regions hit hardest. Furthermore, harmful radiation is absorbed through foodstuffs. Therefore, continually more children suffer from heart problems, visual impairments, thyroid-cancer and throat and ear infections.
Green Cross has been helping support the health of children living in contaminated areas with its Therapy Camps for over ten years. In collaboration with the Swiss association for the blind, patients like Katia have received vital aid since 2007.