Leap of faith pays off for charity 2009: Braving The

Leap of faith pays off for charity

BRAVING THE heights, Ali Hewson, wife of U2 singer Bono, abseiled down the Elysian &8211 Ireland&8217s tallest building &8211 in aid of Chernobyl Children&8217s

Project International at the weekend. Olya and Kristina, two girls from the heart of the Chernobyl zone, who are in Ireland for critical surgery, helped launch the abseil by releasing 50 blue balloons from the tower over the River Lee. Both girls have spent their young lives living in an orphanage, but now the project want children like Olya and Kristina to have a &8220Home of Hope&8221 of their own. Ms Hewson said she was delighted to be able to help the children of Chernobyl. &8220Student garda&237 organised this abseil to raise funds so that Olga and Kristina who came to Ireland unable to walk, can return to Belarus and walk into a real home &8211 a &8216Home of Hope&8217. If a lot of people can give a little it can mean so much,&8221 said Ms Hewson. Joining her at the Cork event were Everest climber, Pat Falvey and chief executive of the Chernobyl project, Adi Roche. Ali Hewson has been a staunch supporter of the project for almost 20 years and has led aid missions to the former Soviet republic. She also has her own ethical clothing line which is stocked in stores in Ireland, the US and beyond.

The project aims to raise over &83641 million in the coming months to advance medical and nursing programmes, community development projects, Homes of Hope projects and other building and construction programmes for those affected by the 1986 nuclear disaster. Since 1991, over &836476 million worth of humanitarian aid has been delivered to the Chernobyl region, with over 18,000 children coming to Ireland alone for rest and recuperation holidays.

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