Abandon plans to withdraw gratis visa funding for Chernobyl children visiting the UK for recuperative breaks.
Why is this important?
A number of charities currently provide recuperative breaks in the UK for Belarusian children living with the after-effects of radiation caused by the Chernobyl disaster.
These breaks give the children a chance to experience a healthy, happy few weeks with a volunteer family and improve both their quality of life and their health.
Until recently, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have recognised the importance of this work by providing free visas to these children.
However, as of 31st March 2013, the FCO plans to withdraw these gratis visas, resulting in an additional cost to the charities of £86 per child. As the charities are already struggling for funding this amounts to a heavy additional burden. This could result in less children being able to benefit from these recuperative breaks and/or the complete closure of smaller charities.