The 2016 Westmeath Rose, Niamh Moriarty, has just returned from an emotional volunteering trip to Belarus with Adi Roche and Chernobyl Children International.
The 27-year-old engineer from Kneadsbridge, Mullingar, was accompanied by 17 of her fellow roses, including the 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney.
The Roses stayed in the Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum, where 170 of the young victims of the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy that happened 30 years ago have been institutionalised.
Many children are still being born with horrific deformities and other illnesses directly or indirectly linked to the radiation from the nuclear accident.
The Roses spent their time working with the worst affected children, giving them one-to-one care and attention which they don’t get from one end of the day to the other.
This is the fifth year that the Rose of Tralee Festival have sent a delegation of volunteers over to Belarus and they take with them both energy and hearts full of love to the unfortunate children of Vesnova.
“They are such wonderful ambassadors for their families, their communities and to the Rose of Tralee Festival also,” said Adi Roche, voluntary CEO of Chernobyl Children.
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