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The final camp "On The Threshold Of Adult Life 2015"

The final camp "On The Threshold Of Adult Life 2015" was held during June 5-7, 2015. The 32 future graduates of orphanages ages from 14-17 yeas old from Nove Selo, Ternopil, Strusiv and Berezhany, and 10 graduates of these institutions participated in this three-day program. The camp was held at the recreation complex "Chervona Kalyna" (Druzhba, Terebovlya district) with financial support from The Global Fund For Children (USA)

The program of the final three-day camp included competitions and interactive exercises and games, where each participant had the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained during all the trainings, which were conducted from April to May 2015. In addition, the children learnt about the real living conditions of graduates through free communication with those who had already made the adjustment.

Traditionally on the first day of arrival of all participants to the campground, registration and team allocation was carried out. Each team received a certain color bandana and presented itself through its own logo and motto. The camp teams were called, "Children of Ukraine", "Sours", "The Sun" and "Red Kalyna".

One of the first activities was the challenge called, "On the threshold of adult life", in which each team had to pass twelve stations to perform certain tasks to consolidate the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills they had been taught, and received points accordingly. The winners of the quest were "Children of Ukraine" and "Red Kalyna" they received prizes. All teams showed perseverance and decision-making skills.

An intellectual game called "Mind Quest" was aimed at developing the participants cognitive skills, improving teamwork skills and which enabled teams to "compare" knowledge. Another separate task for the participants was to create their own collages (via magazines) on the themes: "Me and my future work", "Healthy lifestyle and healthy meal", "Me and my family" and "Me - volunteer." The participants showed their creativity and confidence in completing the task which encouraged them to think about the importance of these themes in their lives.

On the third day of the camp there was a competition called, Line of Obstacles" which was conducted by Ternopil Scouting Organization Plast, which tested the teams' ability to work well cooperatively which they did, overcoming obstacles with great enthusiasm and competitiveness. The best performed teams in this competition were "The Sun" and "Sours" teams which won the prizes.

Participation of the children at a master class of polymer clay was new, interesting and full of positive excitement. Masters of "Ternopil Youth Labour Centre" taught the young people to create handmade masterpieces through precise work requiring perseverance and concentration. The children demonstrated their new skills by making their own handcrafts, hairpins, jewelry and other articles of national symbols.

At the end of the camp a festive party and sweets were organized for all the participants. Also, each of the graduates were presented with materials (pens, notebooks, folders) and useful information booklets which gave them summaries of topics they had already studied so they could later apply these principles to their independent living, including such titles as "Memo healthy eating", "10 easy steps to self-discipline", "General rules for communication", and "Effective time management" to name a few.

In addition, graduates were given the book "Nothing is impossible" and "From orphanage to success" by author Rostislav Galelyuk who was a former Perechin orphanage pupil. The books include inspiring stories of former residents of children's homes that went on to live successful lives and serve as positive examples of what can be achieved by all orphans through self-belief and perseverance in the face of all obstacles.

An end of camp evaluation survey by participants showed that a clear majority considered the most valuable part of the training was that relating to personal financial budgeting and time management as well as how to seek employment. Other popular training sessions were those relating to personal relationships and health and cooking skills.

The camp concluded with a presentation of certificates to participants of the program "On the Threshold of Adult Life" which acknowledged their successes in obtaining new knowledge and practical skills to successfully cope with the challenges of independent life outside the orphanage walls. And most importantly the children left with a greater confidence in their own abilities to meet those challenges secure in the knowledge that Orphans' Future will always be in their corner to help when needed.

: 08 June 2015

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