After having completed the summer camp in Orava, we could fully focus on realisation of the next weekend meeting of grieving families which Plamienok has been organising since 2005.
The last September weekend 12 families, thereof 14 children and 22 adults got together in Podkylava. Eight of Plamienok staff, two volunteers, a camerawoman Violeta and frater Peter provided professional, organisational and human assistance to the families who have lost their next of kin – a sibling, a mother or a father. Together we enjoyed a lot of love, affinity and support.
On Sunday morning we took a trip to the beautiful surroundings of the Cachtice castle. In the afternoon the families took the opportunity to commemorate the deceased children, to express what the children have brought into their lives, have taught them and the feelings linked to the life after. The parents were teaching each other regardless of the children´s age. During adults´ conversations the children were creating messages to their late siblings and sometimes they helped their parents moderate grief while commemorating. When the participated families received the invitation to the Plamienok Grief counselling day centre in Bratislava, one could feel their gratitude and some of them offered their help as appreciation.
The music evening under the direction of the Sendrei family group was manifestation of both a great music production and humanity; understanding and enthusiasm that helped the families overcome their pain. Some of the parents were leaving with the feeling they do not want to forget this moment and with the intention to start life as it was before.
On Sunday the worship followed after the conversation, bathing in a pool and photographing. All, the parents, children as well as the Plamienok staff, together experienced a warm encouragement and a deep joy.
Plamienok organized a summer camp for children who lost a significant person from 12th to 27th July 2014 at Orava. Two sessions for two groups were organized, one week each, for 38 and 39 children respectively. Children came from all over Slovakia, were 8-17 years old, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, with losses of mother, father or sibling. The program in both sessions included live music, dancing, arts and crafts, sports and games and also time for the children to share and be together. Trained monitors organized the program and provided space for the children to grieve or to deal with emotions that they might not have had time to before. Supervision and guidance was provided by Iván Gómez, a psychotherapist , who was the camp director.
For many children, the benefit was that they were able to experience joy and share joy and sorrow, either with monitors or other children. A lot of the children do not have an experience sharing their grief with a child in similar situation or even the experience of knowing someone with a major loss, so meeting each other and making friends was a new and rewarding experience for them.
We are going to use the Money collecting via GlobalGiving to cover the expenditure for accomodation and food for children who attended the summer camp.
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program coordinator for corporate volunteering and pro bono