Fermoy students travel to Kazakhstan with Cork's Greater Chernobyl Cause

Fermoy students travel to Kazakhstan with Cork's Greater Chernobyl Cause
Fermoy Transition Year students Ciara Turner, Grainne McCarthy, Katie O'Neill and Caitlin Jackson pictured at Cork Airport with Ann Norman and Fiona Corcoran before departing for Kazakhstan.

Four transition year students from Fermoy have travelled to Kazakhstan with the charity, the Greater Chernobyl Cause. 

This marks the first time that students have travelled with the charity to Kazakhstan to give aid to those in need.

The students will be accompanied by Fiona Corcoran and Anne Norman lifelong aid work and strong CND campaigner. Former BBC Director and film producer Brian Staveley will capture their journey.

The charity and students will be travelling to Kurchatov, Kazakhstan, once a military base where the nuclear testing took place. Now almost deserted, the former centre of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site is like a ghost town. The city of Semipalatinsk itself, now named Semey, also felt the results of the nuclear tests, yet it remains forgotten among other sites such as Hiroshima and Chernobyl.

Founded by Fiona Corcoran, the Greater Chernobyl Cause was initially set up to provide for those who were affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. 

Corcoran gave up her job to work full-time, helping the people who were affected by the disaster. The charity has since gone on to assist the people of Kazakhstan, a country used as a testing ground for 500 nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union over a span of 40 years. 

To help with the aftermath of the tragedy in both areas, the charity has provided finances for the construction and repair of buildings, such as orphanages, raises money for people in need in Kazakhstan, is involved with hospice work and medical treatment, gives families to homeless children, and sends over items such as clothing for people who may need them, as well as providing other areas of help. 

Students are among the many volunteers for the Greater Chernobyl Cause, but this will be the first time that they will be travelling with the charity, marking an immense occasion. The students can see firsthand the consequences of the disaster and see the charity’s work, which includes sending over containers of aid and providing medical care, ensuring the affected people have a chance at a normal life.

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