10. Januar 2017

English Camp for foster families

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How can kids in care prepare for earning a living? There are plenty of ways and the truth is that everyone needs to find their own. But a couple of universal skills top the list for paying back future value, and one of these is good working English.

Care in Action hosted Time To, a two day English camp, for 75 kids and caregivers, to motivate, encourage and inspire children in care to learn English. This is a development area that foster parents and caregivers have often asked for help with. We designed the camp to instill an understanding of how learning this key skill can drastically improve a child’s life and future career.

Our Time To objectives are:

  • to help participants learn English
  • to foster academic achievement
  • to empower foster children through better future education and employability opportunities
  • to increase intercultural understanding

At the camp children enjoyed being able to interact with people with different nationalities, engage in fun English-learning activities, and listen to speakers share how knowledge of English transformed their lives. Some of these speakers included a teacher from the Munich International School, Fred Luzanycia, English philologist Khrystyna Geleta, and Danish student Trine Hyldgaard.

Besides English learning activities, we organised workshops for parents led by psychologist Olena Petrushkevych who teaches ways to understand children’s motivation for learning and how to improve it.

As of September 2016 there are 663 care institutions in Ukraine, most of these were created under the Soviet Union, and they’ve proven to fall far short of preparing children for an independent life. Children in care in Ukraine have major gaps in their social, emotional, physical and academic development which push them towards the margins of society. As a result, the majority of care leavers fall prey to a life of severe hardship. This often includes realities like being unemployed, turning to crime, early pregnancy, alcohol or drug addiction, being homeless, or attempting suicide.

But these gaps can be filled by proper care in a family or alternative family-type care model. There are around 900 family style orphanages in Ukraine and this number is growing due to a national policy to deinstitutionalise. It’s our mission to help to change the system of care from one that’s highly institutionalised to one that prepares children to stand on their own feet.

We know English will open opportunities in the wider world and help young people help themselves by improving career chances.

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