[America Belarussian Relief Organization]
From its inception over 30 years ago, ABRO has sought to offer relief to children living in regions contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Over those years nearly 20,000 children have participated in family-style retreats, learned computer skills, attended camps in uncontaminated areas, and received medical and dental care.
The majority participated summer programs which brought them to the United States to live with American families for six weeks. It was a time of respite from radiation which allowed their immune systems to significantly recover.
Most of those efforts ended in 2020. We have had to curtail most activities. For the past two years, we have been unable to bring children to the states because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now with war raging in Ukraine, for the third year we once again are unable to hold a summer program.
Most funding for ABRO was dependent on administrative fees generated by the summer programs. With inability to bring children, we’ve watched our resources rapidly being depleted. We’ve made hard decisions to reduce expenses. Among them was the cost of maintaining an executive director. This spring we were forced to eliminate the position.
Though the future is uncertain, and resources limited, we are committed to continue offering relief to the children. The situation in that part of the world is very fluid. In recent months we have been able to help feed and offer medical assistance to families in Ukraine. But that has ended as borders closed. We are exploring possible opportunities working with Ukrainian refugees, particularly orphans and mothers with children, who no longer have a spouse.
Looking toward the future
We are committed to doing several things this summer: A summer camp for children in Belarus, another in for young adults, and vacation Bible schools.
The cost for 35 children to attend a one-week camp is $5,250.00; for 40 young adults to attend a three-day camp is $1,000. We have set aside $7,300.00 for vacation Bible schools. We invite you to donate to these efforts. Any additional funds beyond what we are seeking will be used to help fund additional projects in the near future. *
* 100 percent of gift will go to the projects. There are no administrative fees
** Vacation Bible schools are fully funded for summer 2022. Any additional funds designated for them will be used to enhance what is already planned, for similar opportunities with the children later this year, or held for use in 2023.