Irish charity worker to join ex-BBC cameraman in Ukrainian village

March 3rd, 2024 9:45 PM

Fiona Corcoran from Fountainstown is about to set off for Ukraine with former BBC cameraman, Brian Staveley.

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AS the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches, a Cork-based charity is stepping up its critical ‘reach out to help’ mission to some of the most unfortunate victims of a war that sadly has no end in sight.

The missiles and bombs continue to come down, so the scale of suffering and devastation has increased, not just in the cities, but in the countryside where many have tried to flee the fighting.

The Greater Chernobyl Cause, formed in the wake of the country’s worst nuclear disaster, has been active in villages neglected by others, to help displaced families living in appalling conditions.

Clothes, bedding, generators and power banks have helped them survive the bitter winter extremes.

The charity has been working alongside partners on the ground. Now its founder, Fiona Corcoran from Fountainstown, is about to set off for Ukraine to see the results of these sacrificial efforts for herself and more importantly, to answer a desperate call for help in the village of Kukhari, near the capital Kiev, where residents have lost everything as the Russian bombardment has brought catastrophic destruction.

‘Every form of humanitarian aid is desperately needed,’ she said. ‘Blankets, food, power and a roof over their heads. The residents have seen their homes reduced to rubble. The challenges in the aftermath of such devastating attacks are overwhelming. We have been humbled by the support we have received ever since the war began. Your generous support will again make a tangible difference in alleviating the pain and suffering of the most vulnerable.’

Fiona will be accompanied by former BBC cameraman, Brian Staveley, as they aim to record how the projects the charity has financed are progressing.

The mission starts out in Lviv in the west of the country where they will organise the cargo of vital humanitarian aid by train right across the country to Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv. There, volunteers will use it to distribute aid to desperate people and to 150 families in the beleaguered villages that surround it. The cargo will also be carrying tools and cutting equipment to help volunteers in their dangerous work following explosions.

Fiona and Brian will take their recently purchased Combi van and travel to the capital Kiev and will coincide with the commemorations of February 24th, the day that Vladimir Putin began the Russian invasion two years ago.

Fiona’s mission will start out in Lviv in the west of the country where they will organise the cargo of vital humanitarian aid by train right across the country to Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv.


Here, the charity supports a food programme for the needy and also assists the work at Our Father’s House, a place of safety for vulnerable street children and where the Greater Chernobyl Cause’s most recent support is finance for a the building of a bomb shelter.

Then, it will be on to Kukhari, the centre of the charity’s new appeal to bring help to a village that the Russians have attacked mercilessly and where the fight for survival is an everyday reality. ‘For the innocent victims of this brutal war, hope and dignity are often hard to find. We must not forget them,’ said Fiona. ‘Families continue to be left without shelter, food, water and even the most basic amenities.’ Donations can be made at or The Greater Chernobyl Cause, Unit 2, Southside Industrial Estate, Pouladuf Road, Togher.

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