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Chernobyl Children Visit Buckfastleigh and Totnes
Plymouth Sunflowers’ guests at GatwickPhoto © Plymouth Sunflowers 2011

A group of fourteen children and their interpreter, Vitaliya Yafimchyck, will visit the South Devon Railway on Monday 8th August; as part of a four week stay in Devon.
The visit has been organised by the Plymouth link of The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity, also known as Sunflowers; who bring approximately 10–15 children to Plymouth every year to stay with host families.
Vitaliya and the children live near Minsk in Belarus, to the north west of Chernobyl in an area that received approximately 60% of the radioactive fallout produced by the explosion of one of the nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine, Russia in April 1986.
By bringing the children over for a four week recuperative holiday during the summer the children are out of the contaminated radioactive environment they permanently live in and in turn decontaminate which gives them an extension of their lives by 2+ years. It has been medically proven by scientists that it then takes two years to build up the dangerous levels of radiation again.
The children, Vitaliya and members of the Sunflowers will start their trip on a steam hauled train — a first time experience for most of the children, travelling to our station at Totnes. In the grounds of Totnes Littlehempston Station they will have a picnic before visiting the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm.
Later in the afternoon, on their return to Buckfastleigh, they will also visit the Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies centre.
“The South Devon Railway have welcomed the Chernobyl Children and their host families for a few years running now, and they always seem to enjoy their visit. All of our staff and volunteers go out of their way to make them feel welcome during their stay here, and the South Devon Railway will take great pride in being able to give them an exciting day out again this year, hopefully giving them the chance to enjoy themselves and forget about the problems they suffer at home.” said the SDR’s General Manager, Dick Wood.

For further information, please visit their website.

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© South Devon Railway Association 2011

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