Katerina Ponomarenko enjoys splashing around in a pool just like any other child but the youngster does not take her enjoyment for granted. She is having a holiday with a Portuguese family away from her home in the Ukrainian region of Chernobyl where dozens of youngsters are suffering from the fallout of the 1986 nuclear accident.
Katerina is able to leave the radioactivity behind each year for a month thanks to an initiative known as the “Blue Summer Project”.
Fernando Pinho and his family is just one of several who have welcomed children like Katerina into their homes. He claims it has been scientifically proved that getting away for five weeks, prolongs the lives of the children from one to two years.
Around 80 Chernobyl children suffer from heart, blood or digestive blood problems even though they were born years after the disaster. The Blue Summer Project which is run by an NGO and sponsored by an insurance company offers a chance for the youngesters to lead a longer healthier life.