United Nations and Oscar-Winning Documentary
To Highlight Ongoing Devastation of Chernobyl Disaster

April 26 marks 18th anniversary of accident

Contact:  http://www.ccp-intl.org

New York City, New York --International attention will be refocused on the Chernobyl nuclear accident this Tuesday April 27, as the UN marks the 18th anniversary of the accident with a screening of the Oscar-winning HBO documentary “Chernobyl Heart” at a special session at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. 

April 26th is the anniversary of the disaster, which has devastated the lives of an estimated 7 million people living in the affected areas of Belarus, Western Russia and the Ukraine.

The documentary “Chernobyl Heart” examines the ongoing suffering of the children of Chernobyl-affected regions and the devastating impact the explosion continues to have on their lives. “Chernobyl Heart” was produced and directed by filmmaker Maryann De Leo. It will premiere on HBO August 2004.

Adi Roche, the Founder and Executive Director of Chernobyl Children’s Project Ireland (CCP) and Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) is prominently featured in “Chernobyl Heart.”  As the keynote speaker at the UN event, Adi Roche will outline new ways in which NGOs are responding to this tragedy with long-term, community-based solutions.

During the UN session, Roche will announce two medical missions to Belarus to coincide with the 18th anniversary of Chernobyl.  CCP and CCPI will launch the first mission of a five-year partnership with Operation Smile to perform surgeries and training to address the unusually high incidence of cleft-lip/cleft palate surgery that is seen in Belarus. Additionally the International Children’s Heart Foundation, whose Dr. William Novick appears in “Chernobyl Heart,” are to embark on a series of missions to perform life-saving pediatric cardiac surgeries. Both missions will train and work closely with Belarusian medical professionals, so that children can benefit from these missions year-round.  The objective of both missions is to enhance self-sufficiency in Belarus. 

At the UN event Adi Roche will also emphasise the importance of the contribution of the NGO sector in helping the victims and survivors of the Chernobyl disaster and will call on government and other agencies to offer additional support to allow them to continue their work with the people of the Chernobyl affected regions. The contribution of the NGO sector in the Chernobyl-affected regions, she will state, has been of incalculable importance.

About CCP and CCPI
CCP was established by Adi Roche in 1991 to alleviate the suffering and to offer hope to those most affected by the Chernobyl disaster – namely the children of the Chernobyl regions. This Irish charity has delivered in excess of $50 million in direct and indirect medical and humanitarian aid and operates 16 aid programmes aimed at
developing and facilitating long-term sustainable community-based solutions in the Chernobyl region.

CCPI is a not for profit, 501c3 organization based in New York City. CCPI is the US affiliate of Chernobyl Children’s Project Ireland and was created in an effort to bring additional US resources to the children affected by Chernobyl.  These aid programs aim to increase self-sufficiency and permanent change in the region.  Through partnerships with governmental agencies and medical facilities in the region, CCPI encourages joint solutions and permanent solutions to better serve these children.