Project Restoration International has worked in the Republic of Belarus, formerly part of the Soviet Union and has worked there for almost 25 years. Laurann Schlapper, Founder,traveled to Belarus as part of a Campus Crusade for Christ team just after its doors were opened to foreigners. The group saw the great needs of the people and had the pleasure of experiencing their warmth and hospitality in spite of their very difficult lives.
To add to the challenges and daily needs of the people, Belarus was suffering from devastation caused by the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The explosion caused between 60% – 70% of the radioactive material to fall on this small country about the size of the State of Kansas.
In the ‘90’s, Belarus gave permission for children to travel to different countries where they would be in a non-contaminated environment for 5-6 weeks in the summer. This was believed to improve their immune systems. Some 20+ organizations in the US partnered with Belarus to bring children to their areas, resulting in better health the following winter.
When we began our 12 year “radiation respite” program bringing children living in the contaminated regions of Belarus, we also continued bringing Tanya and others needing prostheses and other medical issues through our medical program. During this time, Project Restoration brought some 134 children and teens (about 240 individual visits) to the Kansas City area.
However, in 2008, a family in California refused to return the girl they hosted when her group went back to Belarus, and the “Children of Chernobyl” programs all over the US were shut down by the Belarusian government. Yet, we felt it was important to continue the relationships with our dear Belarusian friends. So since 2010, we have provided a wonderful camping experience for them at Nadezhda, a multi-use site situated in beautiful forests northeast of the capital city of Minsk. This camp impacts them physically, emotionally and spiritually and has become a highlight of their year!!
Donated funds for “Summer 2015” will be used to bring approximately 50 individuals to Camp Nadezhda for 12 days (July 28 – August 8). This includes about 40 children/teens and 10 chaperones and teachers.
In addition to needing funds for this camp, we want to provide humanitarian aid to a “shelter” for children who have been taken from their parents for a period of time due to poor living conditions and/or various kinds of abuse, mainly because of alcoholic parents. We were told last summer that some of them had been living in homes with dirt floors.
Also, we are working with a Christian organization that has a soup kitchen and helps the homeless by providing daily meals for them and, when available, providing clothing and assistance to meet other needs.
Project Restoration, Int’l.
P.O. Box 8525
Shawnee Mission, KS 66208
Board Members: Paula Lang, Mary Kay Duwe, Laurann Schlapper
Please phone or e-mail to the above number or address if you have questions.