Aberdeen ,

Aberdeen’s Lord Provost welcomes children from Gomel

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett was delighted to welcome children from the Gomel region to the Town House yesterday (Tuesday 25 July).

The girls, aged 9 and ten years old, are visiting Aberdeen as part of a trip organised by the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity. The charity brings child victims of the Chernobyl disaster to the UK for recuperative breaks of four weeks - over 46,000 have been brought over to stay with host families since the charity began 25 years ago in 1992.

Gomel, the second largest city in Belarus, was deeply affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and continues to cause serious health issues for the children living there because food is often grown in ground that is contaminated by radiation. Spending time overseas enables the children to enjoy among other things “fresh air and good food” which has a huge benefit to the health and general wellbeing of the youngsters.

During the tour of the Town House the Lord Provost was asked by the children if he goes shopping. When he replied “yes” the girls asked if everyone salutes him when he enters a shop. The Lord Provost joked “no, but that is a great idea.”

The Lord Provost said: “The children from Gomel were enchanting and a huge credit to their city, and all of Belarus. They were an absolute delight to spend time with and I’m sure they will have a fantastic time during their stay in Aberdeen.

“I would like to thank the host families for sharing their homes with the Gomel children as it will be of huge benefit to the youngsters in terms of their health and general wellbeing, socially and culturally, which they won’t forget.”

The City of Aberdeen has been twinned with Gomel since 1990 and over the years and its twinning projects have been medical, educational and cultural related.