SA2U used part of a generous grant from the Ingeborg Gross Foundation to help finance Camp for Kids, a 1-week camp for children struggling with psychological challenges, hosted for the third time by Ukraine Alive. 121 children took part in the camp in the Ukrainian resort city Truskavets, Lviv region.

Aid Partner:Ukraine Alive
Funds: CHF 10,000
Aid provided:Funding for a kids’ camp in the Carpathian montains
Beneficiaries:121 Ukrainian children age 7-17

Aid Partner Ukraine Alive was especially pleased to accommodate 121 children in its third camp initiative, surpassing their initial goal of having 100 campers. The camp is specially designed to work with children and teenagers who have lost parents or have experienced significant stress and trauma. Of the 121 participants, ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old, 93 children had tragically lost their parents, while 28 had experienced the complete destruction of their homes and now live in modular towns. 

Nestled in the majestic Carpathian Mountains, the Beskyd health resort in the city of Truskavets welcomed camp participants for a week of therapeutic exercises to relieve stress, process trauma, and face fears. The setting also provided a much-needed opportunity for tranquility, comfortable care, and a bit of entertainment.

The camp’s program incorporated art therapy, children’s theater, and specialized techniques to process traumatic memories, examine flashbacks, and work with sound, visual, and kinetic memories. An evening entertainment program helped foster a sense of connection among the children, allowing them to work through any aggression and rebuild their sense of security. The children also took part in daily excursions to picturesque locations within the mountains.

Camp counselors also conducted a study to understand the levels of stress experienced by children and, by extension, the effectiveness of the program. 79 children took part in the study which identified their stress levels prior to and after the camp’s conclusion. The initial results indicated that only approximately 10% of children were in a psychological state within the normal range, almost 20% had a high level of stress, and almost 10% had symptoms of severe PTSD. The final results were truly encouraging – 35% of children were now within the normal range of stress levels and only 1% still exhibited a high level of stress. No children were identified as having severe PTSD symptoms. Ukraine Alive is committed to achieving the same or even greater benefits for children impacted by the war through future camps and further initiatives.

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Ukraine Alive is a Kyiv-based, grassroots initiative providing immediate relief to Ukrainian citizens as well as connections to international volunteers for assistance with long-term settlement. The initiative has a widespread network of volunteers spanning many of the countries between Ukraine and Switzerland.