Essential items sent to needy in Belarus

CLOTHING and shoeboxes of items have been shipped to an area of Belarus still suffering the devastating effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Lions club members and volunteers pack the shoeboxes for people in Belarus SUS-140819-112556001

Worthing Lions Club members packed 50 shoeboxes of items such as toys, stationery and toiletries, along with a van-load of clothing, to send to Gomel.

The area has been badly hit by the nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986.

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Marian Down, of the Lions, said: “The people living in this area are badly affected by thyroid problems, bone cancers and leukaemia.

“They are desperately poor and the land is infertile, due to radioactive pollution.

“Lions clubs throughout the UK have supported the Shoebox Appeal as a long- term project and Worthing Lions Club has contributed for many years.”

The boxes were taken to a warehouse in Dover, before being transported to Belarus by van.

Mrs Down added: “Many of the boxes and equipment go to orphanages where children have lost their parents to the dreadful legacy of cancer caused by the fallout from the explosion.

“This appeal is most likely to carry on for the foreseeable future as it will be many years, if ever, before the land is arable again and the people can support themselves.”

Club members and volunteers gathered at Durrington Community Centre last week to assemble the shoeboxes, ready for delivery.