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.

Altyn Zhurek Award Ceremony




The former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan is to award Cork charity founder Fiona Corcoran of the Greater Chernobyl Cause its top honour for her outstanding humanitarian work in the largest landlocked country in the world. Ms Corcoran has flown this week to Almaty in Kazakhstan to receive the Altyn Zhurek which is the first and only award in the Republic of Kazakhstan that recognizes charitable contributions and the implementation of social projects. Fiona is the first individual from the West to be honoured in this way. The Greater Chernobyl Cause is the only Irish charity to work in a vast country larger than Western Europe. With her team of voluntary supporters, she has worked to transform the lives of some of the weakest and most vulnerable children condemned to life in desperate and dilapidated orphanages.

The charity found moving into Kazakhstan a natural progression from its work with victims of the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Power Station in Ukraine. Kazakhstan had been used as the testing ground for 500 nuclear explosions by the Soviet Union over a period of 40 years. These took place within 100 miles of the large industrial city of Semipalatinsk where Ms Corcoran began her work with abandoned babies. Even today, some mothers have a defective gene thought to be caused by radiation and have given birth to babies suffering from cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus (water on the brain). In August of this year the charity opened its newly built hospice in Kazakhstan. The opening is the culmination of years of work transforming what had been described as “a hospice from hell” in the former Soviet republic, thanks to support from donors from every corner of Ireland.

Photos from the event