"Спасибо" - Thank you!
Component donates €3,760 to Chernobyl children
On 12 February everything came together perfectly when 24 children from the Chernobyl area visited the E-3A Component. The sun was shining, and so were the children's eyes. "Visiting a NATO base such as this is just like a dream", exclaimed one of the Russian teachers, Ms Ekaterina Levitskaya, who was also the interpreter for the day.
The children had a busy and exciting program, starting with a visit to the Fire Brigade and followed by a simulator tour. After lunch the children went to the 25th anniversary painted E-3A, where the official handover of the donated money took place. Component members have been generously donating during recent months, generating a total of €3,760. Col Reinhard Mack presented the check to Ms. Karen Segal, who was representing the Chernobyl Committee. "On behalf of the children, I would like to say a very, very big thank you! When we asked General Schmidt last fall if it would be possible to host the children for a visit here, we had no idea of the outpouring of support that this community would give these children. The winter jackets that was donated by the NATEX, all the gifts today, this fantastic day at the E-3A Component, and now so much money - more than 3,700 euros!" said Ms Segal, and she continued her emotional speech. "Even more important than the gifts, the children have seen that people care about them and want a bright future for all of them. Education is the key to their future. So this money will be used to support the school in the children's village."
After the E-3A walkthrough the children watched a dog training session. The visit ended with fruit and cakes at the Sentry Club, where the children were excitedly sharing their experiences of the day. One of the boys, nine-year-old Mischa, was saying with eagerness in his voice, "When I grow up I want to be a fireman!" May the future help the children of Chernobyl to fulfill their hopes and dreams...
Since 12 January, the 24 children have been staying with fifteen families who live in Brunssum and the surrounding villages. The aim is for the children to become stronger by eating healthy food, playing sports and enjoying a healthy (i.e. radiation-free) environment. On 4 March the children will return to their village of Tereblichy (in Belarus, next to Ukraine, where the nuclear rain from Chernobyl came down too).