[26 Mar 1998] HQ/583 : UNITED NATIONS WOMEN'S GUILD SPONSORS CHERNOBYL CHILDREN'S VISIT TO UNITED STATES
26 March 1998


Press Release
HQ/583



UNITED NATIONS WOMEN'S GUILD SPONSORS CHERNOBYL CHILDREN'S VISIT TO UNITED STATES


NEW YORK, 26 March (UN Women's Guild) -- The United Nations Women's Guild is sponsoring eight children who are victims of the 1986 Chernobyl accident to visit the United States for three weeks starting Friday, 27 March. The prognosis for these children is devastating. Without rehabilitation, there is little or no hope that they will reach their twenty-first birthday. The children, four girls and four boys, range in ages from nine to 12 years old. They will be accompanied by a paediatrician and a translator.

Since 1994, the United Nations Women's Guild has worked in cooperation with, and given its financial support to, the Oncology Hospital in Minsk and the Children in Trouble Foundation of Belarus. Approximately 5,000 children are on waiting lists to participate in this programme.

Planned activities for the children include a visit to the United Nations, a trip to the Broadway show "The Beauty and the Beast", the Bronx Zoo, the Empire State Building and to Washington, D.C.

The Women's Guild is a non-profit organization of women connected to the United Nations, its specialized agencies and diplomatic missions. For more than 50 years, Guild members have volunteered their time and effort to raise funds to help needy children in 170 countries around the world, including the United States.

The April 1986 explosion at Rector 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the worst in world history. There was severe radioactive contamination in the area, resulting in the evacuation of people from a 30-kilometre zone around the power plant. It has become clear over the 12 years following the accident that the children are the ones to suffer most. The United Nations Women's Guild is hoping to make this visit to the United States an annual event and seeks the support of the media to help make some of the dreams of these and other young victims of Chernobyl come true.

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