UKRAINE: Summer camps focus on refugee and displaced youth
Camps benefit 650 youth in Ukraine and countries hosting refugees
(MissionNewswire) The war in Ukraine has now lasted for more than 500 days. Salesians are still providing support for families that have fled to bordering countries and for those remaining in Ukraine*. Many families are returning this summer to their hometowns to reunite with their families. Even so, millions of refugees and displaced people are unable to do so due to the danger of shelling.
In Ukraine and in the countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, Salesians have held summer camps for youth who have been impacted by the war and separation from their families. The camps offer time for recreation, education, artistic and sports activities, and workshops. They are held in Salesian centers and outside in nature.
A Salesian in Ukraine said, “Summer is the only opportunity to take a break, not only with respect to school, but also and above all, from the anxiety and danger that children left in Ukraine experience daily.”
The Salesian Vsesvit school in Zhytomyr organized two summer camps in June and July. The camps were divided into two shifts of 12 days each. One camp for 240 boys and girls took place at the school while the other for 140 children was held in Cervia, Italy.
The Salesian missionary explained, “We prepare for months for these summer camps. They are run by leaders and volunteers at Salesian youth centers and are made possible thanks to global Salesian solidarity. The aid that continues to be sent both to Ukraine and to neighboring countries assists refugees and those displaced and helps prepare and repair schools for the new school year.”
Another summer camp took place for 150 Ukrainian children in Slovakia. Youth, in many cases there with their mothers, engaged in leisure activities and non-formal education, as well as took classes to learn the language.
A Salesian in Lviv explained the purpose of the camps. “The goal is first and foremost to make them forget the war, help them make friends, develop their talents and enjoy who they are.” A Salesian in Zhytomyr added, “We realize our Salesian mission of supporting young people in their personal growth and preparation for adult life, especially in dramatic conditions such as those of the conflict suffered by the Ukrainian population.”
The Salesian Mission office in Madrid financially supports four Salesian camps being held in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Cervia, Italy, as well as in Zhytomyr and Lviv in Ukraine. The camps are benefiting 650 Ukrainian youth who have been displaced or are refugees.
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*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.