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Get to Know 2008's Kids
Rostislav Balakir is being raised by his mother, having lost his father a few years ago. He has an older sister. He likes working with gouache and oil, as well as pencil. Other interests include music and playing the bayan (a type of accordian). He has studied some English at the Art School, and is eager to practice it when he visits San Diego this summer.

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Kolya, age 11, is pictured on the beach during his visit to San Diego in 2007. His mother, Irina, a single parent, is raising her sister's 4 children as well as her own 2 children in a one bedroom flat. Kolya and Katya (below) are cousins. Kolya is a good student and is often responsible for caretaking the 4 younger kids. Children of Chernobyl Foundation is sponsoring his 2008 return visit, and we are currently looking to place him with a host family.

Katya, age 10, enjoys Maria Sharapova’s Tennis Match in 2007. Katya, whose father died, subsequently was removed from her mother’s home, along with her three brothers. Katya is being raised by her aunt Irina along with 5 other children. Katya is fortunate that her 2007 host family will be sponsoring her return visit in 2008.

Olechka, age 15 comes from a particularly destitute situation. She and her younger sister are being raised by their father after their mother died from a car accident eight years ago. Despite her many hardships at home, she blossomed last summer under the care of her loving host family. This host family had to move out of the country, but Olechka is fortunate to have been placed with a loving, new host family. Her return visit will also be sponsored by Children of Chernobyl Foundation.

Yegor, age 9 is pictured with his host family’s dog during the summer of 2007. Yegor lives with his grandmother who is his legal guardian. He lost his father several years ago; his mother remarried and was 8 months pregnant when she and the unborn child passed away due to heart failure. Yegor loves to swim and gets along with everybody. The Children of Chernobyl Foundation is sponsoring his return visit, and he has been placed with a host family.

Dima, age 10, is pictured rowing a boat while visiting San Diego last year. Dima’s return visit is also being sponsored by the Children of Chernobyl Foundation. Dima lives with his supportive father and his sister, after losing his mother several years ago. Dima is very bright, loves to swim, and is a natural leader. We are also looking for a host family for his 2008 visit.