Camp for Ukrainian kids gets provincial funding

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The provincial government has pitched in to give newly arrived Ukrainian children and youth a safe, fun environment to develop friendships and settle into life in Manitoba.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/07/2022 (209 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The provincial government has pitched in to give newly arrived Ukrainian children and youth a safe, fun environment to develop friendships and settle into life in Manitoba.

Premier Heather Stefanson said the province will provide $106,000 to fund a nine-week summer day camp for school-aged Ukrainian newcomers through the local Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

“Kids need to be kids,” Stefanson said during the announcement at Chornick Park, where U-Win day camp participants were playing games in the field.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Kids make marbled paper at a summer camp for school-aged Ukrainian refugee children at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg.

“This camp will allow Ukrainian newcomers to start regaining a sense of normalcy after the absolutely unimaginable loss and suffering that they and their families have endured during this horrific time.”

An estimated 120 children and youth will participate in the program offered by the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, Newcomer Employment and Education Development Services and the Seven Oaks Settlement Workers in Schools.

On top of field trips, crafts and recreation activities, participants receive English language instruction and mental health supports.

The Ukrainian Catholic parishes of St. Anne, St. Michael, St. Basil and Sts. Vladimir and Olga in Winnipeg and St. Mary’s in Rossdale, are providing in-kind support for the camp through facilities, program funding, educational programming and supplies, snacks, and volunteer development.

UCC-Manitoba president Joanne Lewandosky said while the $106,000 sounds modest, it will have a profound result.

“I am convinced that this initiative will have a broader impact in helping all these children all around us and their families overcome the trauma and upheaval that many have experienced and aid them in integrating into friendly Manitoba’s society,” Lewandosky said.

Camp counsellor Lesia Yaroshenko said children have a chance to be carefree, play and learn, and parents know their children are safe while they search for jobs.

“What (kids) love about our camp, that we’re not stuck to some strict program,” Yaroshenko said. “We let them be the part of the team and contribute to this program every day.”

Camper Bogdan Kuchmenko thanked his counsellors for the experiences he’s had so far.

“In this camp, I found new friends and my teacher teach me something new about Canada,” Kuchmenko said.

The Archeparchy said volunteers with child care experience and some Ukrainian language ability are needed. People who are interested can email uwin2022camp@gmail.com and donations can be made to the Archeparchy of Winnipeg.

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca

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