The 2017 Laois Rose Maeve Dunne from Mountmellick, has just returned from an emotional volunteering trip to an Orphanage in Belarus with Adi Roches Chernobyl Children International.
Maeve, an events manager in Croke Park, accompanied the 2017 Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne, Adi Roche and 26 fellow roses for a week of caring for the children in Vesnova Childrens Mental Asylum, where victims that are still being born with dreadful deformities and illnesses are sent to by the countries authorities.
The roses misson was to provide one to one attention to the children who are left very much alone all day with feeding and nappy changes being the only attention they get. Some of the other roses have medical occupations and this proved to be extremely helpful in treating the victims of the terrible nuclear tragedy.
While there, the roses were also shown some of the projects that Adi Roche is responsible for such as "Homes of Hope" where healthier children are fostered to a loving family instead of being admitted to orphanages or other institutions.
This is the seventh rose trip to Belarus with Adi Roches Chernobyl Children International, and Maeve joins a list of many previous Laois roses that have travelled over and made a huge difference. There is also a great Chernobyl Children group in Laois that brings kids in from the radiation affected areas in Belarus and Ukraine for respite.
The trip to Belarus has been a life changing experience and incredibly emotional experience.