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"On the threshold of Adult Life" Skills Camp

During May 30,31 and June 1st, 2016, at the recreation complex "Chervona Kalyna" (Terebovlya district), Orphans Future hosted the final camp for the program, "On the threshold of Adult Life", which was attended by forty-five current and future orphanage graduates from grades 8 to 11 from the orphanages at Berezhany, Nove Selo and Ternopil city.

At this final camp the activities not only involved the completion of the camp program for these forty-five participants but also included the celebrations of the International Day of Children's Rights (June 1) and the Ten Year Anniversary of The Orphans Future Foundation.

During the three days of the final camp, the young people displayed some of the knowledge and skills acquired during the program, (especially in the areas of leadership, teamwork and decision making) by participating in exciting quests, contests and competitions, which were organized and conducted by volunteers from Caritas Ternopil, the scouting organization, "Plast Ternopil" and paintball club "Arsenal".

An important aspect of the camp was the active participation of twelve young people, who are themselves recent orphanage graduates, as assistants. Each of them had an opportunity to test themselves as an organizer and planner of activities and was able to develop their own leadership skills.

This year, as every year, the participants were divided into four teams, each with its own color tie (red, blue, green, orange), motto and invented their own names: "Krasavtsy", "Mammoths", "Coca-Cola" and "Hot Peppers". The young people in each team got to know each other and shared about their past experiences and future dreams.

During the quests the bonds of friendship grew, as did the self-confidence of the children as they helped each other in the team building activities and all experienced a measure of success.

Reviews of the camp from the kids themselves included:

"It was interesting to see the other children from other schools and meet them and make friends" - (Dima, 14yrs from. Berezhany);

"We learned to help each other here in the camp and it was cool" - (Valia, 17ryrs from Ternopil);

"There were a lot of events where we answered questions and received training and incentive points" - (Claudia, 15yrs. from Berezhany);

"I was very pleased to take part in competitions and quests, and was thinking about my future after the orphanage boarding school" - (Volodymir ,16yrs from Berezhany).

The game, "Paintball", brought a lot of positive reactions. Everyone was tested both physically and mentally in challenges that involved teamwork and strategy.

The 10th anniversary of Orphans Future and the International Children's Rights Day children and young people celebrated with relish with a seven pound cake and many creative performances. Songs, poems and impressive amazing stunts by talented acrobats were accompanied by loud applause from everyone at the camp. After all this the children together launched 10 balloons to the sky with great excitement and joy.

Finally twenty-eight future graduates received certificates for their completion of the training program, "On the threshold of Independent Life, 2016", that testified that each had obtained the knowledge and practical skills as the necessary first steps towards a self-confident and successful independent life.

Each graduate also received some useful materials (pens, notebooks, folders), notes about achieving a self-confident adult life, the adviser notebook "Succeed", calendars, and booklets about the services Orphans Future provides a tour Information and resource center. In addition, graduates received a book, "Nothing is Impossible" and From the orphanage - To Success" written and published by Rostislav Galelyuk, a former pupil of the Perechynsk orphanage, which contains stories of former pupils of orphanages.

Thank you to the people and organizations who contributed to the success of the camp including:

- Medynsky Igor - head of the Department of Transport and Communications and Ternopil City Council for organizing the transport for orphans;

- The Ternopil State Medical University

- Rector Professor Mickaylo Kordy for providing discounts and favorable conditions at the complex "Chervona Kalyna"; to

- Director of company "ANT", Mykhaylol Ratushniak - for organizing water for the camp participants.

Our sincere thanks are also due to the International Charity Fund, "The Global Fund for Children" (USA) whose financial support makes possible the annual program "On the Threshold of Independent Life".

Thank you on behalf of all the orphans who can now face their future independent lives with positive attitudes and enhanced prospects of success.

: 03 June 2016

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