Today we have a guest post from one of our volunteers, Angela, who will tell us about her experience meeting the children last week and going swimming with them.
I have recently got involved with FOCC Medway and so this year’s visit is my first experience of working with the children and the charity. The first time that I got to meet the children was on a trip to Maidstone Leisure Centre.
I arrived at the leisure centre and I was introduced to each of child by Tony (FOCC Medway Co-ordinator). They were all very excited about the day ahead and soon we were off… get changed and into the pool. It was obviously a favourite activity of many of the older children and they knew the routine well. In the pool, many of them were confident swimmers and I was amazed at how quickly they allowed me to join in games of ball and asked me to help them onto floats and blow-up animals. I was also very glad that none of them seemed to mind me calling them all by the wrong names – they would laugh and then correct me.
It was lovely to see the new ‘non-swimming’ children enjoy themselves in water. Belarus is a land-locked country and so many of the children will never have had the opportunity to go swimming before their visits, unless in contaminated lakes. You can only imagine their faces when they saw the swimming pool for the first time!
Getting dressed before lunch was a sort of organised chaos, but then what activity that involves showers, soap, towels and clothes mixed in with lots of kids isn’t! After their packed lunches, the children were then able to go on the ice slide and the soft play area – queue much shouting, screaming and laughter as they whizzed down slides and jumped into ball pools. They were having such an amazing time.
I was a little sad to have to leave the fun early to go do the school run, but my own children were full of questions about what we had been doing and what the children were like. We are going to be hosting a child next year and we cannot wait.
Please donate to our cause
You can do so via our My Donate page here: goo.gl/VQFtkp.
You can also get in touch with us by contacting Linda and Tony – FOCC Medway’s coordinators – on our Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC) – Medway funds yearly recuperative visits of one month for socially disadvantaged Belarusian children (aged between seven and twelve) from the areas still devastated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. All money donated is used directly to support FOCC Medway’s objectives and there are no paid officials in any part of the Charity. Charity No: 1095997. If you would like to learn more about what we do, please see here: https://foccmedway.org/our-group/.