Chernobyl campaigner Adi Roche scoops ‘Nobel prize for children’

TIRELESS Chernobyl campaigner Adi Roche has scooped what has been described as the “Nobel Prize for Children” for her continued efforts to improve the lives of children living in the shadow of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.

Ms Roche, chief executive of Chernobyl Children Project International (CCPI), will be presented the Health award at the World of Children Awards Ceremony in New York tomorrow.

Ms Roche started working in Chernobyl in 1986 in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster and formally founded the CCPI in 1991.

Since then the non-profit organisation has delivered in excess of €85 million worth of aid and brought more than 20,000 children into Ireland on life-enhancing rest and recuperation.

World of Children Awards co-chairman Harry Leibowitz said they were proud to support exemplary individuals such as Ms Roche for her tremendous efforts to improve the lives of children.

Since 1998, the World of Children Awards has shared more than $4 million (€2.8m) in grants with 84 change-makers working in more than 50 countries. Each of the award winners has pioneered life-changing programmes to benefit children and will be honoured with a cash grant of up to $50,000 (€36,000) for the honoree’s programme.

Ms Roche said she plans to donate the award’s financial support to fund life-saving surgeries on children in Belarus and Ukraine and the training and development of local surgeons so that Chernobyl Children International can continue to save lives well into the future.

“In the run-up to the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster next year, I would like to take this special opportunity to remember the forgotten children of Chernobyl and in their name and in the name of countless volunteers I am delighted and deeply honoured to have such a prestigious prize awarded to me and to the work of Chernobyl Children International,” Ms Roche said.

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