In the next few lines, we would like to offer you a closer look on the preparations currently underway for Summer camp organised by PLAMIENOK n.o. for children and teens, who have lost a close person – a parent or a sibling.
Thanks to you, we will be able to have the camp again in the beautiful nature of Orava, specifically in Pension Oravská Horáren near Oravský Podzámok. Thanks to your gift, we will be able to have two sessions: 11.7.-18.7.2015 and 19.7.-26.7.2015, each session for 40 children and teens.
Children and teens from all over Slovakia aged 7-18 will participate in the camp.
In the weeks before the camp, we try to get to know the children who will be coming to the camp, so we invite them to our Grief center to a meeting where we share information directly about the camp (the meaning of the camp for children, where they go etc.)
It is exciting for us to see how excited the children are about going to camp and about spending really important time together in beautiful nature.
We in PLAMIENOK are also looking forward and are counting days, currently mostly planning, sending out applications and confirmations, speaking with schools, centers and group homes and preparing volunteers – monitors.
Each camp is customized to the needs of children who will be coming to the camp.
Just this week, we had a planning day at PLAMIENOK when we were preparing activities. Us monitors are excited about all the things we will be able to offer the children thanks to your help.
The programe is created to offer children safe space and support in sharing stories, emotions, sadness and also giving them the opportunity to connect with life.
We are also happy that many of last years volunteers will be helping with the summer camp this year as well.
The theme of the camp this year will be „Change the world in seven days“, in other words, how we can change the world through ourselves and with mutual support and cooperation, which is incredible among the children and teens.
The last year summer camp for the children who have lost their close persons is over and we are slowly getting ready for the next one. It will take place in 2 sessions – 20 - 25 July and 27 July - 1 August respectively, under the topic “Let´s change the world within 7 days“.
So far we have booked a cottage in Oravský Podzámok for approximately 80 children and 12 camp monitors. We are looking for the summer camp monitors among the PLAMIENOK staff and volunteers.
Now we are preparing promotional material which will be distributed to the families in the care of PLAMIENOK, schools, children counselling centres, as well as published on social networks and other media.
Among other activities which are ahead we can mention a preparatory meeting which is going to be held in May. The team consisted of psychologists, social workers and volunteers will discuss the programme and issues related to the particular activities.
During the last summer camp we witnessed a lot of great experiences, fun, enjoyed a great deal of affinity and support and we do hope to experience the same great time, if not even greater, also this year. Also thanks to you, our supporters, we can provide the children who have experienced a loss of their sibling or parent, with a safe space for sharing grief and the opportunity to meet new friends with similar experience. Through experiences, games, trips and therapeutic activities they can enjoy new emotions, express their feelings and find sources how to cope with them.
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