The Greater Chernobyl Cause and its work has featured prominently in both regional, national and international publications over recent years.
Thank you for watching our Nationwide Programme this evening.
We are desperate for assistance; we are the only glimmer of light and harbinger of hope in the darkness and desperation of so many vulnerable lives.
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RTE’s popular Nationwide television series is devoting an entire episode to the work of a Cork-based international charity, The Greater Chernobyl Cause.
On it, founder Fiona Corcoran relates how she, like the rest of the world, looked on in horror in April 1986 at the television reports of the world’s worst nuclear accident, at Chernobyl.
But it wasn’t until 1995, when she read a newspaper article about four children from the affected area of Belarus who were being cared for at the Mercy Hospital in Cork, that she became directly involved.
It was the death of one of them – little Evgenia Nesterenko – that galvanised Fiona to do more or, as she says, “turned my life around.”
The charity she founded, The Greater Chernobyl Cause has been working ever since and helping to transform the desperate lives of children suffering not only from chronic health problems, but also from neglect and abandonment, compounded by a health and education infrastructure which simply cannot cope.
The programme tells the story of how the charity’s mission gradually expanded and how it now brings hope and practical help to people surviving in the most wretched of circumstances in three parts of the former Soviet Union – in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia.
The camera joins Fiona on a recent visit to Ukraine’s capital, Kiev where an estimated 30,000 children live on the streets – or under the streets more like it, as many of them exist in tunnels and drains, their lives blighted by hunger, substance abuse, begging and prostitution.
The Cork-based charity is working in partnership with a local charity, Our Father’s House, which brings food and emergency aid to the streets and also provides home and education for up to 70 children.
One of the most astonishing parts of the programme is its revelation that during the Soviet era, the Kremlin used its own population in Kazakhstan to test the effects of nuclear weapons. The programme reports that the USSR carried out 456 nuclear tests over four decades in the east of Kazakhstan, and carries a brief recent interview with one local man who describes the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion near his village in 1968.
The cameras follow Fiona on a visit to the city of Semey in that region, where the Cork-based charity is making a major contribution to efforts to cope withthe long-term effects of radiation and of economic deprivation.
In the programme we also meet volunteers, donors and one couple who were so moved by the plight of abandoned children that they adopted one of them. And alongside the often terrible conditions, we also see the smiles of children and old people alike whose lives have been enriched by the help from the people of Ireland – all due to the work of Fiona Corcoran.
Hammering it for Chernobyl….
On Saturday, August 8th at 8.30pm, join us for our annual auction. An amazing night is guaranteed filled with music, craic, fun, food, and friends, all to support the work of The Greater Chernobyl Cause.
The Gala Auction will be held at The Oar Bar and Restaurant Crosshaven Cork from 8.30pm til late. The restaurant will provide delicious finger food, admission is free but donations are appreciated.
The very talented MC Buzz O Connell will be ready with gavel in hand securing very fair prices for wonderful items. A great night is assured with music and craic and a very generous raffle
An incredible array of items will be on auction including : Art works donated by international renowned artists including Jools Smith, Chara Nagle, Philip French, Julian Smith etc . Membership packages at leisure centres including the Montenotte, Midleton Park, Clarion, Brookfield, Silversprings, Educo Gym, and NRG just to mention few! Breaks at leading Hotels Muckross Park Hotel & Spa, The Brehon Killarney, Castle Leslie Monaghan, Cliff House Hotel Ardmore, The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel Connemara, Actons Kinsale etc. Fishing Days, Jewellery, Sailing Lessons, Kayak Day, Jewellery, Garden Furniture, Pampering Spa Packages, Sailing Gear and Much Much More!!!
The Greater Chernobyl Cause is involved in the construction and repair of Orphanages, Hospitals and Care Centres. Supporting regional economies by purchasing all building materials locally, and in turn, providing employment to the local workforce.
Actively involved in Hospice work for the elderly. Providing overseas medical treatment for sick children and actively participate in a holiday programme. Rescue and Rehabilitation programme providing families for homeless children enabling them to ultimately make a valuable contribution to society. They send Humanitarian Aid to Kazakhstan, Ukraine & Russia in sealed 40ftcontainers. Operating an education programme for schools and colleges, educating students about the wider world and the suffering that exists there. Offer students the opportunity of gaining work experience in Cork and operating a programme for overseas volunteers.
The charity also facilitate couples in the process of overseas adoption
Last and certainly not least they work very closely (voluntarily) with the Irish Probationary Service, rehabilitating female clients by giving them the opportunity and a chance to make a difference for their future.
Fiona Corcoran founder of GCC has appealed to people to “Come out on Saturday August 8th to The Oar Bar and Restaurant Crosshaven Co Cork. Support our auction and help us to continue with our life saving work. We believe that every person has a right to dignity and the opportunity to achieve their potential in life and to have their basic human needs met. We cannot solve all the problems but whatever the obstacles we encounter along the way, we are certain of one thing the plight of abandoned children and elderly cannot be forgotten.”
For more details please call Fiona on 087 9536133
Wedding Fayre Appeal
Cork woman Fiona Corcoran, a charity worker with The Greater Chernobyl Cause, has become the only Irish person in history to have been awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship.
The charity worker was presented with the honour by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in the Kremlin last week to thank her for what he called her “outstanding humanitarian work in Russia”.
Ms Corcoran told Mr Putin she was accepting the award “on behalf of the charity supporters who have helped us in our very long journey”.
“The award which you have bestowed on us today will bring our work forward for the very needy” she informed President Putin, before finishing with a “go raibh míle maith agat”.
For her part, Ms Corcoran presented President Putin with a pair of handmade bellows from Ireland because, as she said afterward, she had “discovered that Putin liked spending time in the countryside so thought some bellows might make a good gift.”
“We discussed the works of The Greater Chernobyl Cause and Mr. Putin was well informed about our charitable activities and commended us on our achievements” she said. “The whole event was surreal. His endorsement of our work is a huge boost and let’s hope it stokes Russian interest in our projects.”