UKRAINE: Youth camp offers peace and play
Salesian summer camp helps give youth relief from war
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Vsesvit primary and high school grounds were used as a summer camp for youth in Zhytomyr, Ukraine*. The camp offered a time for sports and dialogue and provided food for youth. “Enjoy life and discover the world” was the guiding theme of two sessions of the “Happy Holidays” school camp to provide an encouraging motto in the face of intense bombing in the country.
“Although the war continues and there are frequent alarms night and day, we tried to make our children happy,” said a Salesian in Zhytomyr. Teachers, with the support of Salesians and volunteers, constructed play facilities, including a new children’s park at the high school. It has become the most popular entertainment venue for the students and youth in the neighborhood.
These initiatives for youth entertainment were supported by Mission Don Bosco, the Salesian Mission Office in Turin, Italy, to give youth a chance for peace and play.
“There is still a lot of work, but you can already imagine interesting and useful changes for the lives of young people,” said Father Michal Wocial, a Salesian Polish missionary in Zhytomyr who oversees the school and the Salesian mission. “While there are often moments of fear from bombardments announced by the sirens, the school shelter is capable of containing the students, which is why it has been used for the camp.”
Salesian missionaries around the globe are working to provide financial and material donations to help people still in Ukraine and refugees in bordering countries. Even Salesians in the poorest countries have stepped up in some way to support the efforts.
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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.