NGO Novyi Donbas organizes creative peace summer camp for children affected by military actions in East Ukraine


Kyiv, May 10, 2016. From August 1 to August 15, children from Donbas will be able to go to a creative summer camp of peace located in Serhiyivka (Odesa region). This was reported by Larysa Artiuguina, head of NGO “Novyi Donbas” at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “We would like the children not only to rest but also work and learn peacemaking,” she emphasized. According to her, the so-called “film squads” will be organized in the camp, where the children will learn to shoot a movie. Then, organizers plan to have a festival of films made by the children. Besides, the films will be demonstrated in the East of Ukraine.

Larysa Artiuguina informed that the organizers will select 60 children: 30 – from Stanychno-Luhansk district, and 30 – from Maryinka and Krasnohorivka. To get to the camp, they should take part in the competition. “First, the children will write an essay why they want to shoot a film. Then the filmmakers will come and conduct a practical competition to select the children who want and have gift for cinema creativity,” noted the head of NGO “Novyi Donbas.”

The cultural and humanitarian initiative “Zhovtyi Avtobus” (eng. – “Yellow Bus”) is helping children to develop their film making abilities, said Yaroslav Plunskyi, director of the initiative. According to him, it is necessary to “make an information route” so that the children from Donbas and other parts of the country could see and hear each other. In particular, the Filmmakers’ Union is making clips where children from peaceful areas greetchildren from the war zone. “Our next goal is to return the initial meaning to the idea of humanitarian assistance.  Basically, material assistance is provided, which, certainly, residents of the frontline areas need. However, culture and humanities are ignored,” says Yaroslav Yaroslav Plunskyi. Therefore, the summer camp of peace will focus on helping children in developing their talents. Besides, the director of the “Yellow Bus” informed that now a space for an art camp is created in Vasylkiv, where various artists, architects andfilmmakers will gather.

According to international organizations, in 2014, Ukraine ranked second in the world in terms of depression, informed Kateryna Yasko, psychologist, head of the Board, NGO “International educational initiative “Open Khata”. According to her, mental problems and emotional disorders are developing. To grow the generation of healthy children the “methodology and technology for developing emotional intelligence” should be integrated into the education system. “So that they could develop their stress tolerance, attention, ability to understand their emotional sphere, and most importantly – to communicateby non-violent methods,” explained psychologist. Kateryna Yasko noted that the project “Social integration through  developing emotional intelligence and peacekeeping skills” in schools in eastern Ukraine aims to help teachers and school psychologists. And then they will apply their knowledge while working with children from the frontline areas. Now the teachers for the participation in the program are selected. The psychologists involved in the initiative also will be working in the camp of peace in Odesa region. They will be engaged in the development of peacemaking skills and non-violent communication in children.

According to Kateryna Yasko, there will also be a contest “Vision of Ukraine- 2030 – my long dreamed country.” Children will write essays, and those who will become “the most proactive, pro social and able to take responsibility,” will be selected as “new agents of changes” for participation in the camp.