Music Camp International helps children socialize and regain confidence

August 19, 2016.

International team organized a music camp for Ukrainian children. At the camp, children are able to reveal their musical talents and find new friends. Project organizers speak on how the summer camp is going.

Kyiv, August 18, 2016. International Music Camp 2016 – a free camp of creative activities for kids and teenagers began in Kyiv. It will last for six days; children aged 11 to 15 years will take part in it. In the camp, majority of children will play musical instruments and sing in the choir for the first time. The camp project will end up on August 23 with a concert.

Many of the camp participants are children from internally displaced or large families, as well as from families with complicated life circumstances, said Larysa Bezuhlova, co-founder of the international charity fund “Volunteer help” (Volonterska dopomoha) at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) held in the framework of UCMC’s project “Spokesman of peaceful life” implemented with the support of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the German Federal Republic.

The first musical week was held in Svyatohirsk, Donetsk region, where 175 children took part in the project.

International Music Camp is being held in Ukraine for the second year in a row; however, the initiative itself has been on for 16 years. Its founder, Constancia Fortunato, president and founder of the charity foundation Music Camp International started the project in Romania after the fall of the Ceaușescu regime in order to support the children who remained orphans.

Fortunato was in Ukraine when the war in the east started. So, she decided to help the children regain hope for the better, dignity and self-confidence. She believes that music helps reach mutual understanding.

“The Camp is not about making professional musicians – it’s about developing responsible citizens. Through the music, children learn powerful messages and communicate those messages to their community, their family, and their country. In the music camp, they learn that they can achieve together what no one could achieve alone,” Fortunato said.

The team of teachers is composed of U.S. guests and Ukrainian trainers. A special method was developed for the project: participants are split in two groups, they attend choir classes, and classes where they learn to play classical music instruments. Each child learns to play two musical instruments and over the project duration in the camp tries to play all the musical instruments available. Joint rehearsal is held in the evening.

The project is supported by a series of international and Ukrainian charity organizations including “Svoyi” (Our people) and “Volonterska dopomoha” (Volunteer aid). Organizers cooperate with authorities and educational institutions that provide the premises.

Participants’ feedback

“It is a place where I immediately found new friends. We got new knowledge and it was really interesting. It is a place that has a great spirit, I would like to take part in it next year again,” said Maria Khomyuk, Kyiv-based camp participant.

11-year old Anna Humenyuk used to live in Donetsk before the war, later her family moved to Mariupol. In order to take part in the project, they came to Kyiv for a week. “I had a chance to play two instruments at the same time: xylophone and flute. It is very interesting to me, everything is explained from scratch. The atmosphere is truly positive, I already have a lot of friends,” she said.

The final concert is to take place on August 23 in Kyiv. The place will be announced later, check out the project’s web site for details.

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