Belarussian kids have holiday of a lifetime in Strokestown

Fun, dance, laughter and tears of joy and sorrow were heard at the farewell party held in the Silver Eel, for 13 Belarussian children and their translator Natashia who returned to Belarus at the end of July.             They stayed with families in Strokestown and the surrounding areas. The children come from a village called Volka 11, in the south-east part of Belarus, one of the many areas contaminated by the disaster at Chernobyl. Their stay here in Ireland added years to their life.             The Strokestown branch of The Friends of the Children of Chernobyl this week thanked all the people who contributed to their fundraising to bring the children to Strokestown. They also issued a big thank you to all the families who took the children into their homes, as without the host families, the programme could not be run.             Thanks were also extended to the gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous who supplied Vitamin supplements, not only to the children visiting Strokestown, but to all the 300 children, who were brought to Ireland this year by the organisation.             People who helped along the way included Martin Conboy who organised soccer for the kids, and manager Cathal Dempsey and his staff at the Coral Leisure Centre, the children really loved the swimming pool, and had great fun.             The children had great days at Strokestown Park House, Dublin Zoo, Tullyboy Farm, Swan Island, Ballinamore and to Irene Hanly and staff at the Silver Eel where the farewell party was held. All of the children had a wonderful time and well done to everyone who helped in any way to make this a holiday of a lifetime for the 13 children.