The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in northern Ukraine has resulted in many tragic personal stories of disability resulting from the radioactivity that flooded the region at the time of the accident. Here is the website of the organization devoted to helping those affected: Let them tell their story. But I will share with you one effort they are making to improve an orphanage for children with disabilities:

An Historic Visit to the Orphanage at Zaluchya (from )

On October 23d, a delegation of some 40 Orthodox faithful from across the United States and Europe traveled to the Zaluchya Orphanage to meet with the residents and to survey the progress that has been made in CCRDF’s campaign to improve conditions there. Under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Antony, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (USA) has become the leading sponsor of an intensive campaign launched by CCRDF to overhaul the conditions at Zaluchya and in the Znamianka Orphanage in Kirovohrad Oblast (province) to ensure that the orphans receive more humane treatment. Archbishop Antony toured the Zaluchya dormitories and playrooms, blessing each child and helping the pilgrims to distribute gifts for the orphans. To learn more about this joint campaign, please contact CCRDF or contact Natalie Kapeluk at the Ukrainian Orthodox Youth Ministries office at (412) 488-9664.

Full Story (PDF Document): Also:

photo by Joseph Sywenkyj

photo by Joseph Sywenkyj

Medical Programs / Helping Disabled Orphans

CCRDF assists three orphanages for disabled children in Zaluchya, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Znamyanka, Kirovohrad region and Pugachev, Zhytomir region. This program is sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA and since its inception major renovations have been comleted at the orphanages. CCRDF has delivered mattresses, special needs equipment, physical therapy equipment, and new appliances to the orphanages. Each summer, volunteers from the United States and Ukraine come to play with children and help at the orphanages.

Reprinted from May 2008; some new material related to Chornobyl:

“Icon of the Chernobyl Savior” from The Chernobyl Relief Foundation in the United Kingdom

See also:

From the Ukrainian Orthodox Church USA- a missionary trip in July-August 2009:

See also:

Reprinted from May 2008


2 Responses to “Chernobyl”

  1. 1 Stella June 17, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    We may be writing to teh converted here, but anyway, please see the link >


    • 2 armsopenwide June 17, 2009 at 10:00 PM

      The truth is, Stella, I was adopted as a baby, and many of the things written on the website you shared I can confirm by my own inner experience. Thank you.
      But I am very grateful for my adoptive parents, deceased 21 and 16 years now. I am grateful for all who have bore with me in my formative years- which continue!
      It would be nice to know my biological parents, but I’m 54 now. I did some personal investigation about 14 years ago and came up either dry or in contact with someone who would not admit to being my parent. May God be with them as well. I forgive them for giving me away.
      But it is a sore spot, to be honest.


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