World Jewish News
LifeChanger FSU Participants Draw New Inspiration from Summer Camps
01.09.2017, Community Life
This summer, the LifeChanger FSU rehabilitation project in Ukraine sent 69 of its participants to various FJC Jewish summer camps throughout the country, giving them a chance to enjoy the vacation while gaining valuable skills and making new friends.
“One of the most important goals of LifeChanger FSU programs is to include our participants in social interactions, to break their solitude and isolation. Jewish summer camps are a great way for our participants to socialize, apply the skills they already learned and overall have a blast in a supportive and friendly environment,” said Irina Chernobryvetz, LifeChanger FSU director, in a phone interview.
Out of the total amount, LifeChanger FSU participants went to different camps depending on their age and needs. The group’s 29 teenagers went to EnerJew leadership camp in Karpaty, where they got raving reviews from the staff for being an active and disciplined group.
Nine LifeChanger families went to a family camp at Zhitomir’s Alumim Children’s Home. Among those families were East Ukraine residents, who took a break from the region’s tense and scary reality.
The rest of those who participated took part in day camps organized at Jewish schools and community centers. Four of the participants worked as CITs (counsellors-in-training) in community camps. “They did a great job and also really enjoyed themselves in the new roles. They are planning to apply to EnerJew’s School of Madrichim program in the coming year,” Mrs. Chernobryvetz said. “Overall, summer camps gave our participants a restful break and a lot of new inspiration to come back and work hard in order to achieve their goals and really change their lives for the better,” she said.
LifeChanger FSU project works with the most impoverished and vulnerable Jewish population in Ukraine. Its participants often come from situations of abuse, neglect, disability, emotional and physical trauma. LifeChanger provides them with an individual all-encompassing rehabilitation program and, supported by the project’s devoted staff, the participants embark on a path of promise and hope.