SA2U used part of a generous grant from the Ingeborg Gross Foundation to help finance an educational and rehabilitation camp in the Swiss Alps for Ukrainian teenagers particularly affected by the war. Era Band Camp ran three times in 2022, welcoming 30 participants each time for a variety of activities.

Aid Partner:Era Band Camp
Region: Leysin, Switzerland
Funds: CHF 7,740
Aid provided:Financing the 2nd edition of the camp
Beneficiaries:30 Ukrainian teenagers

Camp participants included 14-18 year old teenagers who were members of the Children of Heroes Charitable Foundation and had lost one or both parents in the war, students of the Kharkiv boarding school for gifted children, which had been hit by rocket fire, teenagers from the frontline regions of Ukraine, and Ukrainian teenagers living in western Europe. 

A camp member holds a hand-painted sign reading
“Life will overcome death, and light – darkness”.

The camp, based in the village of Leysin in the Vaud Alps, focused on social and educational activities. Camp participants visited Swiss cities and landmarks, like the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva, various museums in Lausanne, the underground lake of St. Leonard, and Zürich for a historical tour. There were also opportunities to try out many winter sports, cooking, dancing, jewelry making, as well as memorable fashion and talent shows.

But Era Band Camp is so much more than a chance to rehabilitate, connect with one another, and find a little inner peace – camp participants learned about Switzerland’s approach to environmental issues and attended project and team building seminars, all in the hopes of taking this knowledge and new ideas back to Ukraine to rebuild the country after the war. The camp’s long-term aims are to create and empower the future leaders of a new Ukraine. 

Five Children of Heroes – teenagers who lost a parent in the war – loved the camp and Leysin so much that they decided to stay in Switzerland after the camp’s completion, as described in the video. You can also read about the project “Era Band Home” here.

Era Band Camp gave us the opportunity to believe in ourselves, to create our future and find friends, create our first project in life and implement it in Geneva. And also – to rehabilitate in [the] beautiful city of Leysin in [the] Swiss Alps. We realized that we want to develop for the future of our Ukraine but for this we need to stay in Switzerland with Era Band in [the] boarding house format; so we will go to schools, learn languages, create projects, and develop together with Era Band in Switzerland.”