The Chernobyl Greater Cause

The Greater Chernobyl Cause

News Archive

The Greater Chernobyl Cause and its work has featured prominently in both regional, national and international publications over recent years.

Air Astana

Once again, we at the Greater Chernobyl Cause owe Air Astana a heartfelt thanks for directly sponsoring flights to Kazakhstan for our founder Fiona Corcoran, as she made one of her bi-annual visits to bring aid to the neediest and most vulnerable of its population.


Without the valued assistance from the airline, we would not be in a position to travel to the country where we participate in a number of projects such as overseeing the construction of a brand new hospice for the elderly in the city of Semipalatinsk. 


Fiona Corcoran visits Kazakhstan, thanks to Air Astana

On one of her trips to Kazakhstan, Fiona visited a home for the elderly in the industrial city of Semipalatinsk. The lack of any nutritious food or medical provisions, along with the absence of basic hygiene, had left the old and vulnerable residents of this institution in a desperate state. Skeletal figures, sprawled across broken bed springs without even the most basic of bedding, were abandoned without any hope, being deprived of even the most rudimentary of comforts. 


Good news: through years of toil and fundraising, and with the support of sponsors such as Air Astana, The Greater Chernobyl Cause has financed the construction of an entirely new hospice within the grounds of the city’s General Hospital.  The hospice will open shortly, providing amelioration to the lot of the elderly, the frail and the forgotten. Together, we have given these vulnerable people light and hope where they for many years saw darkness and desperation. We have replaced that squalor and degradation with warmth and dignity. 


Having widely travelled countries of the former Soviet Union on charity missions since the 1990s, Fiona has seen Kazakhstan’s emergence and development from its Soviet-era days first hand. Kazakhstan is becoming known as an alternative travel destination for tourists who wish to take in all the country has to offer: its distinctive style of architecture (seen in the Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty and the Baiterek Tower in Astana) and its natural beauty, observed by taking a trip to Big Almaty Lake or hitting the slopes at Shymbulak ski resort. Tourists can unwind in the bars and nightclubs of Almaty and experience live jazz and opera shows beneath the city’s twinkling lights.Traditional cuisine is available for those brave enough to sample fare such as ‘beshbarmak’, washed down with the national beverage of ‘kumis’, derived from mare’s milk.   
For those visiting mainly for commerce instead of leisure, there is the advantage of doing business in a country regarded as having the largest and strongest economy in Central Asia, spurred by Kazakhstan’s exploitation of its significant oil and gas supply. This marketplace has attracted numerous foreign investments from many multi-national companies over the last decade, totalling hundreds of billions. As a result, thousands of expats from all corners of the globe now call business centres such as the capital of Astana ‘home’. Direct foreign investment into Kazakhstan has also provided much employment for the well-educated Kazakh population, noted for their academic prowess in the fields of mathematics, chemistry and astronautics.
Since May 2002, Air Astana has been leading the way for aviation in Central Asia and is constantly expanding in terms of new routes and fleet development. The airline has significantly contributed towards Kazakhstan’s fast growing economy by forging important links between Kazakhstan’s major cities and the rest of the world. Currently, the airline operates over 60 domestic and international routes, including flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bangkok, New York and Tokyo, to name but a few. Air Astana boasts impeccable safety standards and implements a series of core values including reliability, hospitability and efficiency.  In research conducted by Skytrax Research, Air Astana has been voted the only 4-star airline in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The airline is going from strength to strength, backing up their deserved laudation with a string of awards and certificates.
We at the Greater Chernobyl Cause are proud to be affiliated with and travel on Air Astana, an airline who's staff goes above and beyond in terms of customer service. We wholeheartedly appreciate that Air Astana can support charities working in Kazakhstan such as ourselves, as well as meeting the ever-changing needs of both the business and leisure traveller.
We would like to offer Air Astana sincere thanks for their assistance over the years, and we hope to enjoy many more years of their service in the future.