The youth from Germany and Ukraine during their holiday in Carpathians

Tuesday, 19 June 2012, 17:05
The relaxation and recreation camp for youth with special needs was taking place in the Carpathian region during 4 days. Over the period of 11th till 14th of June, seventy camp participants were staying at the recreation camp “Berehynya” which is situated in Tukhlya village (in Lviv region), the delegation from Germany, consisting of 10 representatives of German Caritas from the Aachen city (Aachen, Germany) and who have some functional constraints also joined them.
The relaxation and recreation camp for youth with special needs was taking place in the Carpathian region during 4 days. Over the period of 11th till 14th of June, seventy camp participants were staying at the recreation camp “Berehynya” which is situated in Tukhlya village (in Lviv region), the delegation from Germany, consisting of 10 representatives of German Caritas from the Aachen city (Aachen, Germany) and who have some functional constraints also joined them. The main objective of this camp (which is called “Step by Step”) was, generally speaking, the same as the one that Caritas has, that is, to improve physical and psychological health of people with special needs, improvement of their social and practical skills, as well as, to gain new friends and impressions. During the time of the relaxation and recreation camp, young disabled people were walking around, interacted with other people outdoors, did some physical exercises and played some action-oriented games, went hiking for short distances, walked to the river, had picnics and discos, fancy balls, worked in thematic groups, as well as, joined the Divine Liturgy and evening prayers. Moreover, parents coming from different cities, where Caritas is functioning, had the possibility to get to know each other better, to share their happiness and problems. The experience of conducting summer camps for the people with special needs,- as it is said in Caritas,- is an excellent way of how to integrate them into the society. For a number of disabled people it is the first time, when they stayed alone, without parents’ control and were responsible for the way they look, for the hygiene, for the behavior, as well as, for the regime. Moreover, during the, for example, walking tours to the river or to the mountains, young disabled people were meeting each other and communicated with the local citizens. Consequently, this helps Ukrainians to better understand and integrate people with special needs into the society, and helps disabled people to become a part of this society. The group of German disabled-sportsmen has spent almost half of the time that the camp functioning with the disabled people from Ukraine. They had the possibility to have fun together, to communicate, to play games, to participate in the Ukrainian ethnic disco, as well as, to play football, even though it was raining. And in the evening, to watch matches of the Euro 2012 championship. “Young disabled people, over and over again, impressed others with their simplicity, openness and love of neighbor. With their help, a number of useful things may be studied, a lot may be found within ourselves; and what is most important- we may learn how to live here and now. During the camp, volunteers discovered for themselves a lot of positive emotions, importance of friendship and the gift of life for each other. For parents it is the possibility to see their children in a new light, when they are happy with the presence of friends, become more independent, reveal themselves and blossom. Such events as, conduction of camps, undoubtedly do impact on improving behavior, mental health, social and living skills of young people with special needs; they help them to find new friends to become more confident and independent in their lives, that in its turn helps them to better integrate into the society and into the life of local communities”, - Lyudmyla Sukharyeva, who is the national coordinator of Caritas in Ukraine and is responsible for work with people that have some special needs. Caritas expresses special gratitude to financial backer of the camp- to Father Hugo Soutus from the USA, to volunteers who joined the conduction of the camp, to workers of the centres, to Father Oleh Zharovskyi, to Father Andriy Ivashkiv and to Father Vasyl Hushuvatyi, who conducted spiritual support for those participating in the camp, for parents and workers.  

Reported Nataliya Chorna

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