Certificate 2017

Benefactor in education 2016

Transparency in Philanthropy Award 2015

Regional Benefactor 2013

Public Benefactor 2011

Winner 2007 in Ternopil Region

Summer Camp for Orphans and Children Deprived of Parental Care 2015

From July 20 to 31, 2015 children from several state-run orphanages in Ternopil Oblast (Province) including Berezhany and children with intellectual disabilities from Nove Selo orphanage, enjoyed a really friendly atmosphere during a summer camp which took place in the city of Berezhany. This camp was made possible due to the assistance of volunteers from the Netherlands (WALO) and Orphans Future organizations. For the fifth consecutive year Orphans Future has a close partnership with the organization WALO and their volunteers are always welcome to participate in summer camps for orphans and children deprived of parental care in Ternopil region.

This year there were some difficulties at the border crossing necessitating Orphans Future to travel to Poland to collect the WALO volunteers and bring them to Berezhany for the camp (and later back to Poland their journey home to the Netherlands). This was somewhat of a challenge for our small band of volunteers but was made possible by a vehicle which was previously purchased with trust funds from the American family of Ron and Judy Gilmour as well as some other borrowed vehicles and drivers Vasiliy and Artur.

During ten days the children received a lot of positive experiences from communication and activities from their new friends. Each day was filled with games, contests, competitions and master classes. Children had the opportunity to show their talents, abilities and leadership potential; overcame physical challenges in sport, increased knowledge of a foreign language and have got new and useful experiences in relationships with new friends. Thanks to foreign volunteers, the children learned about the culture and traditions of the Netherlands.

In addition to the positive atmosphere at summer camp, children received interesting prizes for active participation in different games. Each camp participant received points in the form of tokens, and depending on their number, received prizes. Also, many children at the camp showed motivation for further study of English in the near future.

The children had a great time on a soapy water plastic slide and enjoyed learning in craft activities such as painting masks or making bracelets with rubber to give to friends and had an exciting time at discos. With volunteers from American organization Peace Corps children were introduced to a version of the 'flashmob' phenonmenon and learnt a number of interesting dance steps, synchronized together, just for fun. All these activities enabled the children to be involved in physical activities, learn new skills, develop their social interactions, promote self-esteem and just have FUN! On of the most valuable experiences for the children was a picnic in natural surroundings, organized by the local residents of Berezhany. Children ate huge pizzas and enjoyed nature, played games and communicated with volunteers and local organizers of the picnic. It is very important to the lives of orphans to have communication and moral support and to be valued by their local community. So this event marked the beginning perhaps of a new good and necessary tradition of the Berezhany community to meet with children from orphanages and spend time together outside of the institution.

Today the problem of recreation for orphans from state-run orphanages needs needs much more attention from government authorities who promise much but little is delivered.. Although the Ukraine government guarantees holidays for the children during summer time, sadly this is often not quality leisure. Indeed, every summer children are sent to campgrounds, which are not supported with a daily planned program where children are helped children to develop physically, psychologically and socially. These camps are generally very poorly equipped and understaffed. There are very few organized activities for the children and little attention given to the individual needs of children.

Orphans' Future has been actively involved in seeking ways to remedy this situation including direct involvement in organizing programs and activities at camps, (with the generous help of aid organizations like WALO), which are beneficial really enjoyable for the children. Orphans' future is also tireless in its efforts to bring the needs of orphans to the attention of government authorities as well as promoting a greater awareness of these needs in the local communities who are increasingly responding and becoming involved in assisting the orphans.

The poor conditions at the sanitorium where the children were sent for summer recreation shocked the WALO volunteers who immediately decided to improve recreational opportunities for children by providing sport equipment, sound system and school supplies so that the staff have something to work with. The volunteers from WALO and Orphans' Future also gave every spare moment at camp to assisting the staff and running activities and just spending time in communication with the children.

Unfortunately the time for goodbyes came all too fast and there were tears from both the children and the volunteers, but all involved richly benefited from the great experiences they shared and the wonderful memories they will carry for ever. Main lesson learnt by the children is that they are all lovable, capable and highly valued. Every one of them! Both children and volunteers look forward with great anticipation to the time when they can meet again.

On behalf of the orphans, Orphans' Future thanks all the volunteers who made this camp program a great success and a wonderful blessing to many less fortunate children of Ternopil region in 2015.

: 01 August 2015

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