Photojournalist Menno Meijer
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A child in the Mogilev orphanage for difficult boys lies waiting to be told he may get out of bed. He faces a day with no cleaning products for his ablutions and meagre meals of buckweat porrige and small pieces of fatty sausage. Belarus, with a population of 10 million, has 32,000 orphans. Of those 80 per cent are social orphans removed from their homes primarily due to parental alcoholism which is rampant in the radioactive contaminated regions of Belarus. Every year 5,000 new children are taken into the orphanages. According to Narodnaya Gazeta, a Belarusian national newspaper, the country now has more orphans than following the second World War.