'Show must go on' in spite of Belarus ban

THE BAN by the Belarus government to allow its children to Ireland or volunteers to help the poor has been described by a Kanturk woman as "totally shocking".

Ann Murphy, PRO of the Belarus Summer Project Ltd, has worked tirelessly along with members for over 13 years to make the lives of disabled children better. The ban was announced suddenly by the Belarus government last week.

However, Ms Murphy is not swayed by the government's announcement and said that fundraising for the country's poor and disabled children would be going full steam ahead.

"We cannot let this set us back as there are hundreds of children who depend on us. We were all just in shock when the news came through. It's taken a few days to sink in but it won't stop us from fundraising for the summer.

The show must go on," she told The Corkman.

The Belarus Summer Project Ltd includes Rita Flynn, Sheila Flynn, Mary O'Shea, Teresa O'Regan and Ann Murphy. Ann has been to Minsk 12 times and said she has built up a bond with many of the children - who have a variety of disabilities, ranging from cystic fibrosis, down syndrome, autism and schizophrenia. The children live with their families who refused to put them into an orphanage. "When we go over it's the only holiday that they have and in reality it's a break for parents.

The children enjoy it so much and we won't accept that this will be taken from them by the Government," said Ms Murphy.

In order to go to Belarus, they need to raise ?25,000 and she said the people of Duhallow have always dug deep for all their fundraising events.

Ms Murphy said the first of their many fundraising events will kick off in October where the Youth Group in Kanturk will do a fashion show to help them.



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