July 13, 2023

Summer camps for foster families rebuild inner strength

122 children and adults from 16 foster families and Family-Type Children's Homes joined our two four-day summer camps. The holistic camp activities on the theme "Together is Better" are designed to support family-based care in Ukraine through education, development and recreation. This year, the camps were attended not only by families from the Lviv region, but also by three foster families that moved here because of the war.

During the four days of each camp, our team of specialists and volunteers worked to:

  • help foster parents cope with the challenges they face
  • help children gain resilience through therapeutic, creative and entertaining activities
  • help teenagers to gain life skills
  • Strengthen families by creating happy memories of time spent together

Why are the camps important?

“Because when foster parents are happy then children are also happy, and when people see that foster families are happy places less children will grow up in orphanages.” – foster father Igor

How did the foster families spend their time?

It was four days of discovering inner strength and opportunities for development, as well as a lot of hugs, smiles and warm communication with loved ones.

The foster parents had group sessions with a psychologist and psychotherapist, as well as art and music therapy, which gave them the opportunity to discuss or analyse the challenges they face when raising their foster children. They exchanged experiences with each other and enjoyed free time to restore their inner resources after round-the-clock professional parenting.

"I once again remembered the importance of self-care. It's so important that parents know how to restore their inner resources. During the camp, there was a feeling of care. The camp was a success! " - foster mother Victoria

"We forgot for a while that there was a war in the country. Thank you!" - foster mother Iryna

Meanwhile, the teenagers attended lectures on sex education and safety on social media, learned about the effects of drugs on the human body, and tried their hand at martial arts such as karate, Hopak and jiu-jitsu. They were engaged in art therapy aimed at recognising emotions and their own achievements. The young people also played sports and board games with their peers, drummed loudly, tested their memory during a quiz and had lots of fun making new friends.

A wide variety of activities were organised for children under 12: a treasure hunt, needlework, water painting, fitness, cooking, entertainment with animators, quizzes, art therapy sessions, a trampoline, and a meeting with the police. Volunteers were always on hand if a child needed personal attention.

"Together is better" is the motto of our summer family camps, so the most memorable moments happened when families got together after the age-group activities: they found a rhythm and released emotions with drumming, pumped up the team spirit in an exciting family competition, sang traditional songs around the campfire, and showcased their talents at a family show.

Thanks to the support of our good partners DTCare we held an additional camp this year and there were 22 expert art-therapy sessions for different age groups at both camps. Children and parents expressed their emotions with musical instruments, clay, paints and crayons – the therapy techniques help with better self-awareness and with overcoming obstacles in life. 

"The suitcases are packed, the engine is warmed up. I am sad because the camp has come to an end. But my heart is light. These memories and impressions will keep me warm and inspired for a long time to come." - foster father Igor

We express our sincere gratitude to all our donors, tireless volunteers and families!

Sponsor a child

You can sponsor a child in Ukraine or Malawi and change their life for the better with a monthly donation of €30. In this time of crisis more children need the security of regular sponsorship to support their education and meet their basic needs.