Chabad's Children of Chernobyl
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SAVE THE DATE Monday, November 24 2014
 

C-H-E-R-N-O-B-Y-L.

The members of the CCOC office are asked to spell Chernobyl dozens of times each day by people scattered throughout America. In 1986, a nuclear reactor blew up. People died instantly, the government announced that the radioactive debris falling was actually snow, and cancer rates and birth defects skyrocketed; and yet, today, people are still asking how to spell Chernobyl.

The impact of the nuclear meltdown caused a global reaction. People in the region suffered physically, mentally, and financially; people outside of the region suffered from nuclear panic. Today, there are few who remember.

On April 26, 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor four exploded, the result of a test gone dreadfully wrong. That moment marked the worst nuclear radiation the world has yet encountered. The years passed and, as the children of the Chernobyl region began to mature, the affects of the radiation became increasingly apparent.

By 1990, Chernobyl reached epidemic proportions. The earth, air and water cycled radioactivity through every part of the Chernobyl ecosystem; food, drinking water, and oxygen were and continue to be radioactive vehicles forcing its way into the bodies of innocent children. Immune systems were shattered; premature death became a grim reality.

And yet, today, people are still asking how to spell Chernobyl.

In that same year, 1990, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, stood up for the children who could neither physically nor financially stand for themselves. He called upon a group of his students to establish Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl (CCOC).

This group united in one paramount goal that has not been altered— to rescue the children of Chernobyl, bring them to Israel permanently, and to care for them fully once they began their new chapters of life.

Together with its tremendous network of friends and supporters, CCOC has rescued over 2,500 human lives. Fueled by ceaseless determination, CCOC has provided each child with a house, medicine, education, recreation, and selfless love.

From a humanitarian perspective, the process is simple. From a legal perspective, it is a constant battle. The bureaucratic red tape in the former Soviet Union is as difficult to penetrate as the iron bars of a jail cell; but, the CCOC staff and supporters have worked tirelessly and against huge odds to guarantee the children’s safety.

CCOC is the only organization in the world to bring children out of the contaminated areas permanently. Temporary “cleansing vacations” from the contaminated region help to an extent, but permanent evacuation is the only option for the most complete recoveries.

Today, the situation in Chernobyl has worsened. The sarcophagus built around the reactor to confine the radioactivity is cracking under pressure; the whole structure can tumble if the cracks continue to grow. If this scenario occurs the result will be more destructive than the original meltdown in 1986. The fractures are hazardous in and of themselves as they have allowed rainwater to seep in, which allows the semi-confined contamination to enter the drinking water when the rainwater flows out.

And yet, today, people are still asking how to spell Chernobyl.

Radiation lurks in the drinking water, the soil, the cattle, the milk, the food and the air; the longer the children remain in this radioactive environment, the longer this cycle is pushed forward.

With your help will procure the means to save hundreds of lives. Without the ongoing support of dear friends, CCOC could not continue this lifesaving work. This is truly a partnership of life and love and we are so deeply grateful to all those who participate in this vital undertaking.

It is our fervent prayer that together we will have the strength and resources to continue this urgent work until every child possible is saved and learns the meaning of opportunity… and every human possible finally learns how to spell Chernobyl.









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