Since 2005, two dedicated members of our congregation, David and Margaret Campbell, have spearheaded our involvement with the Canadian Aid for Chernobyl (CAC). Through their leadership, Erie Street United has assisted the Chausy Orphanage and many families in need in Belarus. CAC has successfully distributed non-perishable food, clothing, footwear, hygiene products and household items to thousands who have suffered from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. This outreach has gone beyond the doors of Erie Street United Church with donations from the Ridgetown community.
An agricultural program was established at the Chausy Orphanage. Donations so far have included a tractor, front end loader, wagon, discs, potato digger, plough, planter and 3 greenhouses. A chicken barn was built in 2011 and a pig barn in 2013. Freezers have been purchased to store the surplus.
Donations have also been used to purchase vitamins, medicines, and dozens of pairs of eyeglasses for children in need. Through the years we’ve bought sewing machines, lathes and wood-working equipment to encourage skill development. The Ridgetown community keeps knitting and supplying quilts and these are generously shared and help keep everyone warm.
As orphanages are becoming a thing of the past, there is still need for supervised housing for youth. The next big project is the purchase of a house or large apartment to provide shelter and a home-like environment for children who have no home. This idea will not accommodate many individuals but if it works, we can expand this program.
(updated June 2016)
Download Margaret Campbell's 2017 report
Follow this link to see a report from Belarus on April 23, 2018.
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Images from previous years: .