MKPA were proud to be asked to provide a play session aboard Funion Bargee for eight children from Belarus. Every year children are flown over to England to stay with families all over the country. They come from poor families who may also have health problems due to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles in to the atmosphere. To this day the disaster is still effecting a large number of people: health problems, contamination of land and the initial evacuation from homes. Although the disaster happened in another country, Belarus was one of the hardest hit areas.
The children had a fantastic time being on a narrowboat for the first time and their enthusiasm was astounding. They enjoyed boat making and then floating them in the canal, net fishing, spray art, circus skills, rope swings and, surprisingly, word searches! None of them could speak English but enjoyed looking for the words. Not one of them moaned or was bored and hearing their laughter was a great sound.
We hope to be able to offer the same opportunities to the visiting children next year.