On December 20-22, 2023, the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project team has participated in the retreat held in Uzhhorod with the financial support of our long-time friends and partners from “HOPE worldwide Canada”. Due to the chronic stress of the war and after the hard and painstaking work of a psychologist, which among other includes sharing the pain of traumatized people, treating them and giving them strength, it is important for every professional to rest and reload. This is the prevention of professional burnout. That is why the retreat for 10 psychologists and trainers, who are the heart and backbone of our project, was very appropriate and relevant at the end of the year. The participants of the retreat enjoyed the new impressions, got acquainted with the castles and the ancient streets of Uzhhorod and Mukachevo. And also they enjoyed the local cuisine, listened to amazing stories about our ancestors who lived on this land many years ago, relaxed during spa treatments, and like real artists, painted pictures during the “Art and Wine” masterclass.

We are grateful to Anna Lyashenko for organising the event, she took care of everything and accompanied the participants like an angel from the first to the last step. We would also like to thank all the fairies and wizards who drove, treated, waited, taught, and told interesting stories and jokes.

Participants’ feedback.

Iryna Sukhova: “It was incredible to turn off my head and just paint, to reveal my inner potential through the movements of the brush. Everyone created a true masterpiece, beautiful and original in their own way. We also had a lot of live communication. We all live in different cities, have different work schedules and lives. And here we had an opportunity to see each other in person, to hug, talk, and laugh together. We really missed it. We also had an evening as a team – exchanging Christmas gifts, playing board games, talking about the coming year and our own internal resources to overcome this terrible war”.

Olga Posternak: “At a time when military operations are taking place in our country, there are a lot of anxieties, sadness, long-term and exhausting expectations and hopes for victory. So it is very important not to forget to take care of yourself. I am immensely grateful to the project for taking care of my colleagues and for the opportunity to relax my body and soul. The event was unforgettable and full of positive impressions”.

Elena Dorohavtseva: “I am infinitely grateful for these three days of fairytale-like atmosphere, humour, relaxation and interesting experiences!”

Khrystyna Kravchenko: “I am thankful to “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” for the unforgettable moments and impressions of the retreat. Excursions to beautiful places opened up new horizons, allowing us to feel the atmosphere of history and beauty. The art masterclass allowed us to express our creativity and feel the joy of the process. The atmosphere was favourable to the creative process and mutual support. The spa met all expectations, giving a feeling of complete relaxation and energy recovery. This retreat is not just a holiday, but a real journey into the world of joy and unbelievable harmony”.

Natalia Podolyak: “I want to thank you for the fabulous retreat in Uzhhorod! It is so important when the team is taken care of and feels valued and important! The time spent with the team was the time when we could communicate in a friendly atmosphere, laugh, support each other and be inspired by our interaction! Thank you for an unforgettable trip! Such retreats are extremely necessary for us, professionals who live in war and work with human psychological trauma!”

Serhii Serheyev and Yana Serheyeva: “Thank you very much for the opportunity to feel support, meet a friendly circle of colleagues and relax. Unforgettable impressions, appreciation of the country and a charge of cheerfulness and energy are all that is needed to sum up the year, all thanks to you and “HOPE worldwide Ukraine”. I (Yana) am filled with pride that I am a part of a large project that helps children from all over Ukraine!”

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