A group of 14 children aged 7-14 years old last Saturday (3rd August) visited Waterworld in Bundoran. The children are on a three week stay with host families in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone and live in the regions of Ukraine and Belarus that were most affected by the radioactivity from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The children come to Northern Ireland for 3 weeks during the summer and experience an uncontaminated environment, fresh air, water and food – all very different from at home.
Welcoming the children, General Manager of Waterworld Bundoran Anderson Keys said ‘Most of the children have never been in a swimming pool let alone a water park so we are delighted to facilitate this group and hope that they will have a memorable experience with us.”
Natasha one of the Belarusian, interpreters travelling with the children said “I want to say that I appreciate this opportunity to come to your country very much. Care, support and attention , the warmth of people’s hearts that we get there can give feelings that we are at home……. Our experience was not only good that we spent 3weeks in a clean region, with healthy food and fresh air that is the most priceless gift for everybody but because we have met real friends.”
The children also experienced the sea for the very first time in their lives surfing with Liquid Therapy at Rossnowlagh earlier in the week.
Jane Weir of the Chernobyl Children’s Appeal Charity which was founded in 1994 added “The charity is extremely grateful to Waterworld and Liquid Therapy who have been hosting the children for a number of years, without their support the charity would not be able to provide the children with these “once in a life time” experiences.”
One of the host parents said ‘It is sad to think that an event that happened many years before these children were born has had such a huge impact on their health. It is a real pleasure to have these children stay in your home and know that it is of massive benefit to their health and Iife expectancy.”
Bundoran based Cllr Micheal McMahon added “this group are very welcome here and we’re glad we were able to put a smile on their faces as they visited Bundoran and the seaside for the first time.”
Waterworld is open daily throughout August from 10am until 7pm. For more see www.waterworldbundoran.com
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