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image by
Robert Knoth

More information about his project.

Natasha Popova (12) and Vadim Kuleshov (8) live in the Vesnova orphanage. Natasha was born with microcephaly (her head is abnormally small); Vadim has a bone disease and is mentally retarded. It is not known for certain whether exposure to radiation can be linked to such conditions, but the Belarus government estimates a 250 percent increase in birth defects after the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, just across the border in Ukraine. Some 30 high-dependency people, ranging in age from five to 25 and all branded ‘mentally unfit’ live in the institution. Conditions are badly affected by the lack of funds.