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Children need summer. Not just to get healthier, though it’s quite important and not just to have a rest from studies, though that’s also significant. But to have fun as well – this is obligatory for a normal childhood.
Jewish Family Service “NES” provides such an opportunity for our kids. During this summer, Jewish children of Moldova were provided with four summer camps in a recreation center and the Summer Retreat at KJJC. Altogether, almost half a thousand of children had a good chance for a full-fledged rest.
In June, members of the Jewish Family Service “NES” conjointly with the republican rehabilitation center “Sperantsa” organized an “Integration camp” for children. There were no analogues to such activity in Moldova Republic before. 90 boys and girls, 34 of which are of first or second disability group, spent an unforgettable week in a recreation center which is situated in the one of the most picturesque places of Moldova. The main purpose of conducting such a camp was an integration of disabled children.
Due to the saturated and multifarious program, kids did not have a minute of boredom. Thoroughly thought-out activities gave them a chance even to forget about their limited abilities and feel themselves ordinary children – the goal of idea to integrate kids turned out well. Besides that, the camp was visited by the doctors – therapeutists, psychologists and speech therapists from USA and Israel, who were invited for medical consultations. Their recommendations proved to be extremely useful for the parents of disabled children.
“We came from Transdnestria with my 12 years old son Serghei. Unfortunately, Serghei can not walk on his own…” – says Marina Sokolova. – “When we were offered to have a rest in integration camp, we rejoiced over it, but we could not even imagine, that reality will exceed all our expectations. I am sure, that he will remember this island of miracle for a very long time. May be, till the next year and next camp? I really hope so”.
The next two “Family camps”, were conducted for children from needy families and their parents. That’s the trouble, that this by no means is always the case, that every child has a “family” in a customary meaning of this word. The usual situation for the clients of “NES” is an incomplete family with a very low means. Some of the kids are raised without father or even mother. There are even a lot of orphans, who have just grandmothers or some distinct relatives. An idea of a “Family camp” constituted in the junction of the Jewish families into the life of a Jewish community.
In two “Family camps”, there took a vacation 180 of people. Children and their parents were offered a very interesting and busy program, which included sports and rest, studies and contests, concerts and even discotheques.
Volunteers and members of “NES” diligently worked at organization of the camps for many months – to assure, that everyone will feel safe and comfortable, that needy children will have a full-fledged rest and that they will acquire a new knowledge.
“I did not see my boy so happy for a long time” – says Lidia, who brings up her 11 years old grandson Stas alone. – “He obtained so much new information, and really improved his health. Saying the truth, this was a first “resort”, which he visited in his life”.
The last camp was totally devoted just to the children aged from 5 to 16. In the “Children camp”, 90 of boys and girls had a wonderful week of rest under steadfast care and tending of madrichim.
Each day was strictly scheduled following the goals of this activity. Every day children had studies, were they were told about Israel, its army, culture and traditions. Besides that, they were offered a lot of joyful quizzes and contests. And, surely, a lot of time was devoted to sports and amusements.
“I can’t swim, as I’ve never saw a swimming-pool before” – says 8 years-old Michael. – “It is just wonderful here, it’s so pity, that in just a week we’ll have to leave”!
“And I liked Karaoke the best”! – Laughing 6 years-old Edik. – “It’s so funny indeed”!
“Let my children grow” – that is the slogan of the Jewish Family Service. With the help of “NES”, children have not just a possibility of be raised up according to the Jewish traditions, but also to feel joy and happiness in their life.
By Sonya Ghitenshtein, volunteer KJJC