Back in October our very own Dean Ladrigan traveled to Belarus to spend some time in an orphange with children who have been affected by the Chernobyl disaster. Dean received funding through the John Kelly Developing World Fund, a sponsorship fund set up by Dubco to help members give so unselfishly of their time to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Here’s his story: 

Thanks to Dubco and the John Kelly Developing World Fund, I had the chance to return to Cherven again in October of this year with The Burren Chernobyl Project. This was my third trip to Belarus and it’s great to have the opportunity to get to see how the kids have developed and grown over the past 4 years.

The orphanage is used to help children who have been affected by the Chernobyl disaster. The kids are aged from 4 – 35 and suffer from a range of mental and physical disabilities. Like my previous trips, I spent my days going from ward to ward interacting with the kids.These kids are deprived of any real affection for days or even weeks on end so when anyone shows them any form of love they adore it!

It’s strange to see how much joy and stimulation they get from being shown the smallest amount of attention! When you walk down the corridors and pass groups of kids, they all want to shake your hand or give you a hug! You truly learn the power of the human touch after you visit Cherven.

I can’t thank the Board, Volunteers, Management and Staff enough for all the support they have given me and The Burren Chernobyl Project over the years. I’m extremely proud to work for an organisation that cares so much about trying to help others. I’m already looking forward to returning to Cherven in 2018 and I’ll make sure to share my story with you all again.

Dean Ladrigan, Member Communications Officer