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Belorussian children returning in July

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Six children from Belarus once again will be lucky enough to visit the Rainy River District come July as four host families decided to take the youths in for a second year in a row.

“They are scheduled to come back on July 6,” enthused Cathy Zin, who along with husband, Terry Wilcott, will be hosting 10-year-old Dimitry Fedoruk again this summer.

“All of them that are returning will be staying with their original host families,” she noted.

Last July, 10 Belorussian children came here to stay, treated to a respite from the harsh environment of their homeland in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

But after their stay, many of the families who took in the children still kept in touch with them, fostering a likelihood the kids would return this summer.

“We try to keep in contact--we try to call [Dimitry] about once a month,” related Zin. “We also send the odd card, at times like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.”

Other host families to host children this summer include Albert and Linda Beller, and David and Heidi Ivall, all of Rainy River, and Tony and Yvonne Gill of Morson.

The Bellers will see Dzmitry Stryha and Artsion Kandratsic once again, while the Ivalls will host Veronica Tademkova. The Gills will be reunited with Iryna Slavashevich and Alena Mauchun.

Although the children definitely will be returning in July, it wasn’t certain if the former host parents would be able to afford the children’s return until May 15.

“We sent out a request of support to all the previous supporting parties, and they decided to back the effort,” explained Zin. “It all worked out.”

Costs to bring the children here included airfare, medical insurance, and temporary visas.

For now, the host families are preparing for the youngsters’ arrival. But once they get here, if last year is any indication, the children should be in for some summertime fun until they head back home Aug. 20.

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