26. Juli 2021

Family Camps for foster families “Together is Better”

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Care in Action – Турбота в дії hosted two four-day Family Camps, which were attended by 140 children and adults from 18 foster families and family-type orphanages. The first camp was sponsored in conjunction with the Lviv City Department for Children. If we were asked to describe these camps in three words, we would say "rest, development and training".

This video of the Family Camps was made by a young man who used to attend our camps with his foster parents, and now volunteers to help:

Raising children is a challenge and a parent’s most important mission. There are times when all parents need expert or friendly advice or just a listening ear and support, and foster parents have additional challenges: to help children overcome trauma, to care for children with physical, mental, or sensory difficulties, and to cope with a large family of up to ten children. We are there to help foster parents learn essential skills for these roles, and to help them build up their internal resources.

While the children had their own programme of activities, 26 care-givers and foster parents received training from specialists: "Children’s psychological and sexual development " (Dana Yakovenko), "Motivation from A to Z" (Natalia Hertsun), "Fairy tales for a child's personal development" (Olena Petrushkevych). Yoga and meditation with Yvonne Romaniuk helped parents to relax and detach from worries – important skills to teach children as well. And what is equally important is that parents had enough free time to share personal experiences with each other, share support with like-minded people and just relax. Foster parents said:

"The coaches who taught us are real specialists in their field. The topics are tailored, taking into account our needs and the needs of our children. We received both important information and the motivation for further action."

"Many thanks to your team and volunteers who worked professionally with children and treated them with respect and love. I did not believe that my children from 2 to 6 years old would stay with volunteers. Thank you very much, as this meant that my participation in the training was calm and effective."

Teenagers were fully engaged with arts, career development and health and safety training, along with competitions and games. There was a master class on acting from Dmitry Naumets, a theater actor, Miss Ukrainka from The Caramel Ensemble staged a dance, and they even met online with the star of the TV series "Catch Kaydash", Grigory Baklanov. There were also training workshops on "The danger of drugs" delivered by the organisation Time For Change, and on the basics of tourism with representatives of PLASTU.

"Thank you very much for teaching me to be myself and to support others, and for your care," - Diana

"Thank you very much for the effort and work that went into doing all of these things for us. We are already looking forward to next year’s camp with you" - Arsene

Younger children also had a fun and useful time: a conversation with Traffic Police Officers about the rules of the road, a dental health lesson from the Department of Child Dentistry, master classes on making sweets from dried fruits and painting, along with a treasure hunt, relay races, dances, sports and board games.

Every evening we organised activities for families to create happy memories together: sports competitions, a mystery challenge, performances of fairy tale or dance, a paint-throwing festival, a disco, and singing around the campfire.

Thank you to all the coaches and invited guests who shared their knowledge and experience! We sincerely thank all our volunteers who did everything from the morning until late in the evening to make the children’s time fun, interesting and safe.

We would also like to thank our sponsors in Germany, the Lviv Education Foundation, and the Lviv Council’s Department for Children for their financial support, and our local donors of goods and services. By working in partnership we can promote family forms of care and help more children to grow up in caring foster families.


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