Project Sunflower Camp
Sunflower Camp for Ukrainian Children, 2023
We are extremely pleased to announce that the summer camp has begun! This year, we have expanded to include at least 144 Ukrainian refugee children who have experienced the trauma of war and who are presently living in Warsaw, Poland with their mothers.
The camp is located in the heart of Warsaw, at the Bednarska Szkola Realna, a private school who has generously donated the use of their space. The school is easily accessed by public transportation. It is located on a lovely quiet side street, situated among the trees, close to the Botanical Gardens and next to the Royal Lazienki Krolewskie Park, Vistula River and the Japanese, Spanish, and South Korean Embassies.
The school has classrooms for children to play in, a well-equipped gymnasium, a cinema room, and a large outdoor area for sports activities. The entire school grounds are surrounded by a fence and locked gates which are monitored by school personnel. There is a kitchen and canteen where we provide hot healthy lunches and afternoon snacks for the children and staff. Catering is provided by a company that knows the school and provides food there during the year. The cleaning service is also a company that works at the school. Although we do not pay for the use of the school, we do pay for the catering and cleaning services.
Summer Camp runs from June 28, 2023 to August 18th, with four sessions, each lasting approximately two weeks. The camp day runs from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. During this time mothers can work or look for work, attend training courses where they can gain professional qualifications and learn Polish or English. Each session is divided into three age groups: 6-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds, 13-15 year olds, with approximately 12 children per group, for a total of 36 children, 144 total for the season. At this time available spots for the camp have all been filled and there is a significant waiting list.
Like all good camps, our program includes a variety of activities, appropriate to the different age levels. Our interest is to provide a balance of activities, workshops, field trips and playful learning that builds self-esteem, tickles curiosity, allows for problem solving and hands on creativity and fosters a sense of adventure to see and experience new things and nature while in a safe environment, under the watchful eyes of experienced caring teachers. We will encourage supportive relationships with other Ukrainian children and teachers thereby offering a sense of community, which is not easily available, as these children are living throughout the city and not necessarily in touch with other Ukrainian children. Our goal is to help build confidence, resiliency, and just let these children be carefree and have fun!
Arranged activities and excursions include fun and games, yoga with Ilona (a favorite teacher from last summer), dance parties, outings to the Royal Lazienki Park and sculpture garden, nature workshop in the Botanical Garden, Copernicus Science Center, Museum of Illusion, Planetarium, Alpaca Ranch, art and film workshops, tour of Old Town Warsaw, and a meeting with an animal behaviorist and her dogs. Not to mention a special ice cream excursion!
In this summer camp initiative, we are so fortunate to be partnering with TPD – Towarzystwo Przyjaciol Dzieci (Children’s Friends Society) https://tpd-maz.org.pl/o-nas/ , the oldest NGO in Poland, founded over 100 years ago, after WWI, to help war orphans. Their guiding principles include equal opportunities for all children in access to education, health care, cultural goods, technological achievements, development of the child’s life prospects; fair, equal treatment and respect for the subjectivity and dignity of the child; tolerance and respect for other people, their work and views; integration, solidarity and protection of the rights of victims; humanitarian aid, charity, mutual aid, social work and volunteering.
As required by Polish law, our camp is fully certified, and all teachers have had special training organized by the Polish Board of Education. Teachers and administrators are certified pedagogical professionals which allows them to work with children and all have taken a course in first aid. Our professional teaching staff are refugee women from Ukraine who are alone with their children in Poland. Despite their great fear for the fate of their husbands and all their loved ones who stayed in Ukraine, they are gaining further professional experience and working in schools during the school year. Our staff include Ukrainians from Mariupol, Kiev, Enerdogan, Chernihiv and Lviv.
All organizers, caregivers, teachers, and children are insured with personal accident insurance. In addition, we have insurance for accidental damage to property. When taking field trips the children have wrist bands with identification and contact information, identifying scarves, as well as backpacks with items that might be needed.
We also provide a psychologist from Ukraine who specializes in working with children traumatized by war and are available to help their mothers as well. We have heard from Ukrainian soldiers and grandparents in Ukraine, that providing this camp is the greatest gift they could have, as they know that their children are safe and are able to experience the joys of childhood.
We are accepting donations to support this camp at UkrainianChildren.org
Please indicate funds are to go to Wasserson Projects.
Ukrainian Children Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit.
1315 S Main St
Winston Salem NC 27127
Listed with GuideStar, Ukrainian Children, Inc. does not pay salaries or office rentals. Everyone works on a volunteer basis, with no official office. 100% of donations go to the Ukrainians.
Email [email protected]
Include your name/organization, phone number and donation amount and someone from our team will get back to you with details.
Write check to: “Ukrainian Children, Inc.”
Ukrainian Children, Inc.
Attn: Joel Schneider
1315 S Main St
Winston Salem, NC 27127
Please include a note specifying Wasserson Projects
PayPal or Credit Card are also accepted through the website
Scenes from 2022 Summer Camp