On September 22-23, an annual training seminar for volunteers of the “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation took place. This time in the Pushcha Vodytsya! Fresh country air, the smell of pine forest, birds singing, morning dew – these are the resources that our participants needed so much and allowed them to “recharge” with new forces and energy. Despite the first autumn coolness this weekend, the weather pleased: we managed to spend part of the seminar in nature, basking in the rays of the still warm and tender sun.

And this year more than 130 volunteers from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Lviv gathered for the event. It was interesting to get acquainted with the teams that serve in various children’s boarding schools and nursing homes from different parts of Ukraine. Each group had the opportunity to talk about their programs, projects, bright ideas and wonderful people, generously giving their love to those in need.

In addition to the communication and exchange of experiences between the teams, the first day of the seminar was held educational training on “Conflicts and their resolution”. Volunteers working in children’s boarding schools practiced their knowledge with a psychologist, a motivational speaker and director of the First Children’s Academy Marina Romanenko. They talked about the causes of conflict and how to respond to them, on borders and simple algorithm exit from the crisis situations, but also learned a lot of secrets of healthy relationships between adults and children. And with those who serve the elderly in nursing homes, the Christian psychologist and the Club Leader for the older generation Gulnara Semenova, as well as the psychologist and director of Kiev Center “Voskhozhdenie” Natalia Lapitskaya, shared their experiences. Experts told volunteers about feelings and emotions in conflicts, their respectful and correct expression, taught the skill of “active listening” and the manifestation of empathy towards the interlocutor, spoke of forgiveness and apologies in situations when “you hurt” and “you were hurt”.

Light and fun on the second day added naughty games with Nikolai Shoot: an unforgettable feeling of returning to carefree childhood, where you can laugh, sing, run, shout! Nikolay – a coach in gaming skills, a children’s composer, poet, author of books, PhD on pedagogical sciences, an associate professor of KhNPU named after Hrygoriy Skovoroda, the creator and host of entertainment and training programs. And also – an incredibly talented, charismatic, motivating, bright, cheerful and positive person! Our foundation thanks each of the coaches for your work, the time devoted to us, and not indifferent hearts! Thank you for your light and experience!

We believe that the received charge of energy, new ideas, warmth and love will be enough for the participants of the event for a whole year. We wish you, our dear volunteers, to continue to be filled with love and knowledge, to give them to people in need, to be a light in this world!

Feedback from participants:

Svetlana Shepel (Kyiv): “It is very important, useful, practical, rich – every minute is spent with benefit! Very inspired by the presentations of the teams!”

Katya Dyachenko (Lviv): “I am very grateful to all the organizers for training at the highest level and a heart filled with love, goodness and light”.

Regina Kucheruk (Odessa): “I received a lot of materials – games that are great to check with the children. It is pleasant to learn from Nikolai: positive, professional in his field, he deeply understands the psychology of children and adults. I liked the games that do not give a feeling of loss and sadness, all the participants remain positive”.

Sergey Belyaev (Odessa): “I am very grateful to the organizers! Very grateful to the speakers! Very grateful to Ira Ivanko for delicious dinners!”

Alla Petruk (Kyiv): “There were interesting practical tasks for two days that can be applied every day in any area of life”.

Elena Gudz (Belogorodka, Kyiv region): “The topics that have been raised are very relevant to me. M. Romanenko`s, P. Golub`s, N. Shoot`s blocks – everything responded very much, there are a lot of topics for reflection, and this is something that needs to be implemented in life and volunteer service”.

Lina Zhigulina (Kyiv): “Thank you very much for the wonderful seminars! It was interesting and instructive! I got a lot of resources to work with children as well as elderly people!”

Katya Karikova (Kyiv): “The games helped a lot! So long I did not laugh all day! Thank you!”

Stas Kondrat (Kyiv): “The trainings were relevant and useful. Each presenter made a great contribution, very coolly dismantled the topic of conflict. Thanks to the organizers of the seminar, and to everyone who has contributed to it, that it was filled with the most!”

Bogdan Dikiy (Kyiv): “A wonderful time with wonderful coaches. “Mindfulness” by Marina Romanenko was very important. I rethought my conflict situation and decided on my actions to get out of it”.

Ivan Sereda (Kyiv): “Inspired by the purpose and way of life of the presenters, I review my personal values and attitudes. I want to live for others and give God’s love through the sacrifice of personal time and opportunities. Thank you!”

Tatyana Kobets (Kyiv): “I was filled with light, love, forces for further service. I got acquainted with new volunteers thanks to the games. Thank you for raising issues of values, priorities, unity – this is important for bringing together and understanding volunteers in teams”.

Andrey Polishchuk (Kyiv): “Incredible gratitude for the excellent organization of the schedule, time. Very informative, both for those new to volunteering, as well as for the more experienced. All questions were answered. Incredibly friendly atmosphere, full of warmth and attention. All held at a high professional level. Organizers, you are the best!”

Vladimir Mos (Kyiv): “I couldn’t describe the condition that I had after passing this seminar with the words: motivation, inspiration, love, joy, warmth, happiness, knowledge, confidence. These are just a few things that can be said about the seminar”.

Nadezhda Smotrytel (Cherkassy region): “I sincerely thank the organizers and speakers of the seminar! I received the necessary information in the work of the volunteer. Looking forward to next year, next conference!”