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Chernobyl children gain taste of University life

08 March 2005 @TeessideUni

 

A group of 16 children from Chernobyl and the immediate area will be visiting the University of Teesside in March to explore the world of digital art and to attend the launch of a new website, dedicated to the charity, Chernobyl Children Life Line (Teesside), that has arranged the trip.

On April 26 1986 the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine (formerly USSR). The ensuing explosions, caused during a maintenance procedure, blew the roof of the 1,000 tonne steel and concrete reactor roof and instantly killed 30 people at the plant. More than 130,000 people had to be evacuated from the surrounding area and children who were not even born at the time of the disaster still feel the effects today, nearly 18 years later.

A group of 16 children from Chernobyl and the immediate area will be visiting the University of Teesside in March to explore the world of digital art and to attend the launch of a new website, dedicated to the charity, Chernobyl Children Life Line (Teesside), that has arranged the trip.

Media Call Children from the Chernobyl area will be at the University of Teesside’s Education House (Room E0.15), Woodlands Road, Middlesbrough, at 2pm on Monday 14 March. They will be working with local artists Rachel Clarke and Paul McKenna to create digital art based on photographs taken during their stay on Teesside. Members of the media are welcome to attend to take photographs/film. To confirm attendance please call either Mark Malik or Stephen Laing at the University of Teesside Press & PR Office on 01642 342015 beforehand.

Chernobyl Children Life Line (Teesside) is a charity which arranges for children from the areas affected by the disaster to come to the UK for a holiday. Just one month in the UK, eating uncontaminated food and breathing fresh air, can boost each child’s immune system for up to two years. The visit also allows the children, who are often from deprived backgrounds, the opportunity to experience life in the UK.

Teesonline, a project based at the University of Teesside which works with voluntary organisations in the Tees Valley to increase the use of IT and websites, has created the new website for Chernobyl Children Life Line (Teesside) (www.ccllteesside.org). The website explains the work of the charity, outlines the history of the Chernobyl accident and shows how people can get involved with the charity either by fundraising or by hosting a child during their visit to the area.

Brian Loader, Director of the University’s Community Informatics Research Applications unit, which administers Teesonline, said: “We are very pleased and delighted that these young people are able to spend some time with us at the university and hope that they take back home some happy memories of their visit.”

The website will also be officially launched during the children’s visit to Teesside on Wednesday 16 March at a special evening launch event hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Teesside.

Teesonline is a European Regional Development Fund, Objective 2 funded scheme. For more information about Teesonline, contact Claire Leonard on 01642 342710 or email cira@tees.ac.uk.