Belarus children to celebrate birthdays in Raleigh

Raleigh, N.C. - Nearly 40 children from Belarus, located near the Ukraine and Russia, will celebrate at a joint birthday party in Raleigh on Monday.

The American Belarussian Relief Organization brought the children, ages 7 to 16, to Raleigh as part of its yearly event, which transports children to the U.S. for medical care and hospitality.

The children, which were directly or indirectly affected by radiation from the Chernobyll nuclear plant accident, will attend a day-long party, which will include a cookout, games, inflatable attractions and customized birthday cakes. All events will be held at Angus Barn's pavilions, located behind the restaurant at 9401 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.

Organizers said many of the children have never had a birthday party before.

A total of 120 children arrived June 18 and have been staying with host families in the Triangle area. They will depart on July 29. Across the United States, 570 Belarussian children have been placed with host families this summer.

ABRO, based in Zebulon, holds the yearly visits to help children living in areas contaminated with radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident find a quality of life and hope in the future.

While in the country, children will receive medical, dental and eye care.