UL Student Urges Others to Volunteer

Hey guys 🙂 It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything (the joys of doing a masters). Here’s a short piece about volunteer work in Belarus, enjoy 🙂

A University of Limerick student is urging others to get involved in volunteer work.

Laura Kennedy, a physiotherapy student, is travelling to Gorodishche Orphanage in Belarus for a second year to help the children living there.

The orphanage is for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster as well as any children from Belarus who have disabilities.

The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident in 1986 which has caused birth defects in children born in Belarus since.

“Parents put their children in these asylums because they have no other option in some cases”, explains Laura. “Single parents must work to provide for their children as there is no dole or equivalent in Belarus. Some parents just can’t look after their children and must give them up while others just abandon their children.”

Laura got involved in with the orphanage in 2016 through a friend of hers. She loved it and so decided to return this summer to lend a hand again. The children in the orphanage are also happy to have people like Laura come to care for them and play with them.

“Although the children are in such impoverished conditions they are so happy and thankful for everything that they have”, says Laura, “and they love Irish volunteers coming to play with them.”

Laura has fallen in love with this work and is happy to spend her time helping those in need. “I don’t find it hard to sacrifice time”, she states, “as I don’t see it as a sacrifice. I love spending time with the children and thoroughly enjoy it.”

When asked what she thought of well-known people who go to these places and if they do it all for publicity, Laura says that any coverage of the orphanage is good coverage whether people do it for publicity or not.

“They need all the money they can get and even if someone is doing it for attention I would prefer to accept it if it would benefit the kids and their quality of life in any way” she admits.

Laura will return to Belarus in June of this year for two weeks and is “counting down the days” until she can go.

“I would highly recommend work like this to others,” advises Laura. “it’s so enjoyable and you get such satisfaction after helping people less fortunate than yourself.”

Laura has set up a donation page to raise funds for her latest trip.

“This is such a worthy cause”, says Laura, “the kids and I will appreciate even the smallest of donations. Every little bit helps make the lives of these amazing children and young adults so much better.”

If you would like to donate to this cause you can do so by visiting the webpage and following the instructions: https://www.gofundme.com/belarus-2017




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