Laois Rose Maeve Dunne is ready to volunteer in Chernobyl orphanage

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan


Laois Rose Maeve Dunne is ready to volunteer in Chernobyl orphanage

Laois Rose Maeve Dunne with Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne, both heading to volunteer in Chernobyl

The Laois Rose Maeve Dunne is ready and willing to fly out and aid Chernobyl orphans, and is inviting Laois people to make donations in support.

Maeve from Mountmellick will travel out on Valentine's Day, with 28 other Roses including the International Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne from Offaly.

They will fly to Belarus, on a volunteering mission for Chernobyl Children International, spending their days caring for and playing with disabled children who have lived in the orphanage all their lives.

“The children in these orphanages never not a chance at life and if we as a group can put a smile on their faces it will have made it all worthwhile. They are craving for human contact, love and some tlc that we as children born to loving parents take for granted sometimes. Adi Roche has worked tirelessly over the last couple of decades to provide the medical help these children so desperately need.,” Maeve told the Leinster Express.

She has been overwhelmed with donations so far. She also welcomes medical supplies like calpol and sudocrem.

“I am trying to raise as much money as possible to get these supplies and to help fund the caring of these poor kids. To date I've been blown away by the support I've received with people donating money and old toys, medical supplies etc and I want to bring with me as much as I possibly can,” said Maeve.

She explained how money can help.

“Most children born post the disaster are born with what is known as the Chernobyl Heart and as little as €1,000 can go a long way to funding an operation that will repair various heart defects. My goal is €1,500 and I believe slowly but surely I will get to the target,” Maeve said.

The staff at Oakdale nursing home in Portarlington, where Maeve’s mother Geraldine works as a nurse, held a coffee morning to support her fundraiser.

Dunnes Gala are also raffling a Valentines Hamper, with tickets at €2 in the shop, with the draw taking place on February 12. Supporters can also fill out sponsorship cards in the shop.

“I am also holding a table quiz in Dublin with my work colleagues in the hope of reaching my target. Every little bit really does help. All money raised goes directly to the children affected,” the Laois Rose said.

Online donations can be made via Maeve’s everydayhero page here.

Maeve is inviting other young Laois women to 'go for it' in the 2018 Laois Rose Selection. Read more here.