The youngsters baked cakes, played games, visited a beauty salon and drew pictures during their visit to the Medway Campus, which was organised by the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children charity.
More than 70% of the harmful radiation released in the infamous nuclear power station explosion fell on nearby Belarus, leaving 800,000 children at a high risk of contracting cancer or leukaemia.
Those selected to visit the UK suffer from a variety of health-related problems and come from social situations that make it difficult for them to receive the care they require at home.
“Life is very tough for these children,” said Diane Fitter, co-ordinator of the charity’s Medway group. “They’re very poor and some live in orphanages or hostels and have no possessions of their own.
“We bring them to England for four weeks at a time, when as well as visiting local schools, colleges and attractions they are also treated by doctors, dentists and opticians.
“Coming to a place like MidKent College shows these children there is a world outside of Belarus that is open to them too, and we’re very grateful for the hospitality.”
The Chernobyl disaster remains the world’s worst nuclear accident, having exposed the city’s population to radioactivity 90 times greater than that caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War.
Beverley Noble – head of MidKent College’s Services to People faculty – said: “The Friends of Chernobyl’s Children is a fantastic charity and one the College is delighted to support.
“Many Belarusian children have suffered unimaginable hardship through no fault of their own, so we are more than happy to help inspire them towards a better future.
“This is the second year we have hosted the charity and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come.”
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