Summer camp as a window to another world

August 30, 2021

In august, for the third year in a row, thanks to the donors we could invite children with severe diagnoses and their families to a specialized four-day camp “Butterfly Summer”. For several years in a row, the camp is organized by the team of the charity organization “Palīdzē”. For those children and their parents who have been in the camp previously, it is the most important event of the year – they await it even more than Christmas.

These children are deprived of many things ordinary to us. Often, they communicate only with the health care personnel. There are children who have never attended kindergarten or school – they spend their lives within the four walls of their homes. Many of them use wheelchairs. They have no access to many things other kids do – communication with peers, new impressions, summer holiday trips, sports games…

Window to another world

For special kids, this camp is like a window to another world. It is also a fresh breeze to their parents, who cannot leave their children unattended and without support. It is a bit of happiness that warms their hearts for the rest of the year. Living in continuous stress and tension can lead to a nervous breakdown or even depression; therefore, in the camp, volunteers and educators take care of the children. There is a special agenda for the parents – practical lectures on how to avoid burnout, sessions with a psychotherapist, consultations of healthcare specialists and social workers, art therapy, and many other events that in a very short period of time boost parents and give them strength for the future. For many of the parents, these four days is the only possibility to have a rest without grieving. Child’s illness and disability is an unbelievably hard challenge to every family. It is important to strengthen the parents, start mutual communication and friendships that later help establish collaboration between the parents, and also to cultivate understanding of having similar problems in other families as well as possible solutions. Mutual communication and exchange of experience is the core of the camp.

“Palīdzē” have experienced that children with disabilities often encounter hopelessness and lack of motivation. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for them to integrate into society, enlarging the possibilities to receive appropriate social rehabilitation services, so that the social rehabilitation would give a positive contribution in their and all society’s quality of life. The summer camp is an excellent example of social rehabilitation and integration.

Camp for those who do not give up

The parents dedicate their days and lives to care of their children. Often, they are forced to leave the paid job and thus do not have any additional fundings. Also, they lack possibilities to socialize and acquire new experiences. The camp allows them to suspend their everyday rush, to have some time for themselves, to meet other parents with similar problems, and to inspire each other.

The parents acknowledge that they lack knowledge and competencies in raising their special children. Therefore, the practical sessions with a psychotherapist, art therapist, drama therapist, social worker and other professionals are very significant.

There is no participation fee in the camp for the special children and their parents as very often all funds are used to cover treatment costs. It is an unacceptable luxury for many of the parents to pay for a specialist’s visit, hire a babysitter for several hours or use a taxi to travel to a hospital, not even thinking about leisure and entertainment.

There is no school to become a parent to a child with special needs

By its very nature, the camp is not a simple recreation, but a life school in a very concentrated form. Each step of the camp’s agenda is considered and dedicated to the development of specific skills. During the four days, children receive a strong rehabilitation complex, comprehensively covering children’s problems.

Unfortunately, state funded rehabilitation programs for special children still are very limited. Often, officials try to persuade the parents to transfer such children to specialized boarding schools. This is a camp for parents who do not give up and for those who foster children from orphanages.

Support for summer camps

A few summer days can truly change the world of these children and give strength to their parents, allowing them to feel that they are not alone. Next year as well dozens of children and their families will await the opportunity to be in this very special camp. Next year as well the organizers will need our support. Therefore, you can donate for this event all year long.

Bank details:

Charity Foundation BeOpen

Registration No.: 50008218201

Bank account: LV59 CBBR 1123 2155 000 10

Purpose: Support for the summer camp

No interest or commission fees are withheld from the donations.