Photojournalist Menno Meijer
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A group of orphans take advantage of an autumn day by playing in piles of leaves. The dust raised contains a variety of radionuclides from the Chernobyl disaster which plague the health of Belarusians today. Built after the second world war to house orphans of the conflict, the orphanage is just as full today due to deaths from Chernobyl's contamination and social orphans.The children are wearing clothing recently provided by Canadian Aid for Chernobyl, a Brockville, Ont. based NGO. The school has little financial support from the government and children are expected to leave at age 17 with no money and nowhere to go. Seventeen per cent of orphans will commit suicide and 35 per cent will end up in jail for theft.