The Chernobyl Greater Cause

The Greater Chernobyl Cause

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

Irish Charity Appeals for funds for Hospital Project in frozen Kazakhstan

Cork-based charity The Greater Chernobyl Cause is appealing for financial help to further its mission to transform what it describes as ‘a hospital from hell’ in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan where winter temperatures have plummeted to minus 24 Celsius.


Already, work has begun to turn the joint Red Cross/Red Crescent building in the industrial city of Semipalatinsk into a hospice worthy of the name where patients can find warmth and dignity alongside the palliative care they so desperately need.


Charity head, Fiona Corcoran, was so shocked by the conditions she encountered on a recent visit there that with characteristic energy and determination, she decided to act immediately. Generous donations combined with the charity’s hard work have already resulted in some major improvements.


Better hygiene means that the stench of urine has been removed and the pitiful daily food allowance of just 4 cents per patient has been increased to 1 Euro, allowing fresh meat and vegetables to be introduced to a menu that once produced little more than a watery porridge gruel.


Operational changes introduced by Fiona mean there’s accountability and transparency with donations of food and clothing now assured of reaching those patients who need them most.


But the work doesn’t stop there. The Kazak government has now granted The Greater Chernobyl Cause a piece of land within the grounds of the city’s General Hospital to build an entirely new hospice with proper dormitories, heating and medical facilities.


It’s hoped that the project can be completed within the next six months. Some money has been promised by a Russian benefactor but much more is needed if the dream is to be realised in its entirety.


Homeless, retired farmworker, Nurkasim Mirzabek, aged 66, is looking forward to “separate baths and showers for men and women and the chance to receive proper physiotherapy.”


The General Hospital is in desperate straits too, as the region’s CAT Scan based there is broken – out of order for the past six months. It means that the diagnosis of cancers, tumours and traumas normally carried out on 1500 patients a year has ground to a halt. The only alternative is an expensive assessment at a private clinic.


To compound matters, Semipalatinsk is in an area that has long been contaminated with radioactive fallout from the Soviet Union’s 40 year nuclear testing programme. This part of Kazakhstan remains polluted with radioactive materials and the population continues to suffer from this silent menace and the grinding poverty in the region.


The Greater Chernobyl Cause has pledged its support to raise 34,000 Euros for vital components to get the CAT scanner up and running again.


Charity Chief, Fiona Corcoran, pleads “even in these difficult economic times for the people of Ireland, I would ask you to give whatever you can to help so many desperate people whose lives depend on the generosity of others. What better Christmas present could you give that helping save the life of another human being.”


Donations should be sent to The Greater Chernobyl Cause, Mahon Community Centre, Avenue de Rennes, Mahon, Cork  or you can donate on line through the charity’s website:




Note for Editors:


Further details can be obtained from The Greater Chernobyl Cause:


Telephone: 021 4536 791

E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)