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Due to the amount of the features aired on the 21st March 2006 on Near FM 101,6 ( are unable to give an in-depth description for all features. Having said that please find below some of the features. They are in no particular order. For full listing see:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Life after Tchernobyl

Often poverty adds to the devastation of a natural (or man-made) disaster. 2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the Tchernobyl desaster. It is nice to hear that an event as horrible as this has actually triggered a lasting relationship between Germany and Belarus, with the aim to better the conditions for all people in the effected areas. NEAR FM will bring you an interview with Astrid Sahm from the "Life after Tchernobyl" association. Read it here first:

Astrid Sahm Vice chairperson of the LIFE AFTER TCHERNOBYL associationAstrid:

My name is astrid Sahm, I am the vice chairperson of the Life after Tchernobyl associationin Frankfurt and Chairperson of the Children centre in Nadeshda in Belarus, which has beenco-founded by our association.Our association was founded in 1990. At the same time a partner organisation formed inBelarus using the same name.The idea to form an association like this was born out of a political pilgrimmage to Belaruswhich took place in 1989 which marked the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the war.1989 was also the year in which people were openly talking about the consequences ofTchernobyl.

For over three years after the reactor - incodent in Tchernobyl had taken placethe policy was to completely ignore the topic.The people down there didn´t really know about the consequences of Tchernobyl. The peoplewe met down there said: "If you really want to make up for the war than let us work togetherto improve the conditions after Tchernobyl".The idea was born to do something in Belarus itself and to build a holiday camp for children inan uneffected area in Belarus to show them that they have a future within their own countryas part of Europe when everybody is working together

TJ:Who financed it? Was it financed by authorities in Belarus or did Germany fund it?

Astrid:Both, in happened in 1991 when we were legally able to work as one. It was a very convenientsituation and institutions from Germany, Belarus and other countries helped towards that.Today, Nadeshda has 5 trainers among them three Germans from our organisation "Life afterTchernobyl" and one from the protestant church in Westfalia / Germany and one from thesocial services of protestant males from the church.Our organisation in Belarus works together with the governmental Tchernobyl Committee andThe extention of the facility was financed through funds from the Committee and fnds fromHessia/Germany as well as donations.

We see a lot of men working with us even ex - servicemen who served during the war who arereally interested to make peace and they also helped us in building the facility.

TJ:How does your regular working day looks like, I mean, in the beginning your work was clearlydifferent to your work today?

Astrid:Absolutely, that changed a lot over the years. We all work on completely different anclesone would be to help the extention and the progress of the centre. In the course of a year weplay host to over 3000 children, 250 children at one time and we ask for donations to help finance their holidays. We send volunteers and experts to be there as psychiatrists and leasure experts, people who work in addiction preventing and we also send experts who advise the centre on energy saving.

We recently started, and we find that very important, to use renewable means of energy.For instance, we helped towards getting a solar power device for the centre and we helped creatingeconomic farming to make the centre self sustainable.It is very imprtant to us that the children from the effected areas are getting very healthy andundeterminated fods while they are with us.We also managed to get a group of school children over to Belarus during the 20th anniversarycommemoration and we also meet young adults who visited us in 1994/95 during the first two years of our service. We also support educational trips to and from Belarus, we had one on the topic of "Energy forms" one on the local health system so that we have an exchange of experiences.

TJ:Did other institutions within the country of Belarus model your idea or is it the only centre of its kind in Belarus?

Astrid:It is a lot of work and we are principally the only centre which isn´t run by the government. We were able to use the momentum back than and secondly the institutions who want to work woth us have to agree to a long comittment and that is difficult for a mainly voluntary run service.

TJ:And how many people are working with you alltogether?

Astrid:That is very hard to say but it is certainly a couple of hundred who helped over the years in different capacities. Those wo are the realy hard base are no more than 10 or 20.

TJ:Do you think it is sustainable on the long run?

Astrid:Our emphasis is to make it independent so that the management of the centre is able to run it without the help of is organisations and in the last two, three years we started to explore self-financing options so that we do not only depend on government funds and donations and I hope that.

TJ:You told me off record that you are only in Germany for another week and than you take on a job in Minsk? That is related to the centre, isn´t it?

Astrid:No, the centre is and was completely voluntary on my part and that won´t change. There is an international education centre in Minsk and that is something that is comparable to the centre in Nadeshda and it was also born out of this idea to make peace and I will take up the position of the manager of the centre.

TJ:Thank you very much

Total length: 6.20 minutes

In this context it is shocking to realise that Nuclear Power is back on the agendas of politics again. In a further piece Greenpeace activist Emma Gibson will explain why nuclear power isn´t the answer to climate change. Total length: 7.24minutes


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