Recovery Camp Stories: Yana & Ignatius

UCAP-funded Recovery Camps provide support for traumatized children and mothers who have been displaced from eastern and southern parts of Ukraine under siege.

6-year-old Ignatius and Yana, 11
Centralne, Mykolayiv, Ukraine

We live in the village of Tsentralne, Mykolaiv region. We were under occupation since February 25, 2022. under constant explosions, a constant column of equipment, and flying rockets and shrapnel. My children and I lived in the basement without communications, water, food, electricity, gas, or medicine. This is constant fear and unbearable pain for lost childhood and life. 
And in March 2022, if possible, we ran out in whatever way we could, so we went. We lived in the Mykolaiv region, a little further from the shots, for almost a year. The husband was in captivity
for some time, the children were in a very difficult psychological state.

And in September 2023, we were insanely lucky to recover at Recovery Camp. We were met by nice and sincere people who knew what children and mothers needed. They restored me emotionally and psychologically, gave me advice and an opportunity to have a great rest, to remember what a normal life is like without constant stress and pain.

For six days, we reached a ‘place of strength’. It was there that we gained energy and a resource to live on. We sang to the guitar, roasted marshmallows, did morning exercises, ate delicious food, danced, took part in cool entertainment and competitions, drew, and visited excursions and a spa!

We had the opportunity to receive support from psychologists, find answers to all our questions, understand ourselves, and better feel our children. I learned to recognize the difficult psychological states of children and to be able to cope with them.

Recovery Camp, thank you so much for sheltering, understanding, and restoring! Sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the organization of the camp! It was incredible and unforgettable! We wish your team good health, happiness, peaceful, sunny days, and God’s grace! Our lives improved after psychological recovery in the camp. Children have become more sociable, happier, and more confident in tomorrow and people! Now, they often smile, especially when they remember the days at the camp. Now, when we are scared or sad, we look at photos and listen to music from the camp, and a smile immediately appears on our faces, and peace appears inside.
I pray for all children and our kind and sincere Ukrainian people!

– Soroka Luba

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