In summer 2022, “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation supported several projects organizing recreation for children affected by the war. This was done in cooperation with the “Caramel” training project (Volovets, Zakarpattia region), “Ya da Vinci” psychological camp (Delyatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region) and the “GALA CAMP” (Kamianets-Podilskyi , Khmelnytskyi region). The Foundation provided financial aid so that 24 children affected by the war received an opportunity to attend the summer camp.

Children had a lot of fun, they went on guided tours and enjoyed the nature of the Carpathian mountains. They were learning, developing their creative skills, interacting in a team, making friends, playing, and laughing.

The recreational program was complemented by the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” program held by the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project psychologists for all participants of the camps. During therapy group sessions with psychologists, young Ukrainians shared their personal war stories and learned recovery techniques to cope with this difficult life experience.

In total, 220 children attended “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” therapy course during summer camps. The team of the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project expresses sincere gratitude to the leaders of all three camps for fruitful cooperation, excellent organization of children’s recreation and especially for their concern, love and care for children in this difficult wartime.

Feedback of some children and parents:

“In the morning, February 24, I woke up from the sound of explosions. My mother came to wake me up and we understood that the war had begun. The first 11 days we spent in the basement of our friends in the Kyiv region. It was difficult, sometimes we couldn’t even go outside to get food. Then my father told us that there were tanks on the streets and street fighting started, so we decided to move to the village in Zakarpattia region. I was very upset because I had never lived in the village before. But we had to stay there for three months. Then we returned to Kyiv. Unfortunately, none of my friends were there, but I was very happy because I finally was at home. After a while, I realized that I can’t get used to the constant sound of sirens, so I asked my mother to send me to a camp to get some rest from it. At the camp, during “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” therapy sessions, we were taught many useful techniques – how to control our emotions and thoughts, how to overcome nightmares and how to calm down in general. Most of all I liked the topic “Sleep hygiene” and breathing techniques. After these sessions, I became calmer and now I know what to do when I have bad emotions.” Olena (Kyiv)

“The war brought pain into my life, because it separated me from my friends and relatives. When the war started, I was asleep and did not even immediately understand what was happening. At first, we stayed with my family in Kharkiv, but after two weeks we moved to Kamianets- Podilskyi. After all this, I could not relax for a long time. At the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” sessions in the camp, I liked the “Screen” technique, as I learned to get some rest from reality, and I learned to be myself. I dream of returning to Kharkiv – my hometown. I’m sad without it, I can’t think of anything else. And I also want the war to end, I want peace to come.” Kyrylo (Kharkiv)

“With the beginning of the war, I lost the opportunity to communicate with my relatives. I felt depressed, it was difficult for me to realize that my former life would never be there again. During “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” sessions, we were working with obsessive thoughts, and learned to control our emotions. I liked the “Screen” technique, when we “turned off” and “rewinded” traumatic events. I want to walk around my hometown and spend time with my relatives for at least one day. If I were a wizard, I would end this war.” Lisa (Kharkiv)

“My deepest gratitude to everyone involved in the “Ya da Vinci” camp! My daughter attended “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” therapy course! Thanks to these techniques, she regulated her sleeping, now she does not have nightmares! Thank you very much!” Mother Khrystyna (Mariupol).

“I am the mother of a teenager who attended the camp “Ya da Vinci” and went through “Children and War” program! I am grateful to all the organizers and specialists! My son became calmer, and started to share his thoughts. Before that he kept silent and carried everything inside. Thank you very much!” Mama Solomiya (Mariupol).

“Our deepest gratitude to the Foundation for taking care of our children and the opportunity to get rest in the “Caramel” camp in the Carpathians! Special thanks to the psychologists who worked in the camp with the children. In this difficult wartime, they were able to distract and relax children, and relieve their tension. I will always remember hiking in the mountains, spending the night in tents, and singing near the campfire, and also volleyball tournaments and an educational guided tour to Synevir lake. Once again, we thank “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” for a wonderful rest and recovery for our children – both physical and psychological!” Drogin family

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