This summer I have the privilege of again working at the summer camp Action Brings Change (ABC). This year I have more expanded role in that I am helping to direct the camp along with another American volunteer, Courtney as well as two amazing Ukrainians, Zhenia and Karina. Courtney and I will serve primarily in the role of “consultants” while Zhenia and Karina take the primary role.
Here is a little bit more of what the camp is about:
ABC Camp is a 10 day youth camp for Ukrainians to learn how to become civic-minded leaders. Our primary objective is to empower Ukrainian youth through daily lessons on leadership, human rights, civic debate, cross-cultural awareness, as well as project planning and implementation. We hope to promote critical thinking and decision-making skills through team challenges and case studies. We provide students with real world examples of how to become engaged citizens improving the world around them and give them the opportunity to put ideas into action.
In addition to the camp being conducted entirely in English, campers will complete a group project in the host city, Poltava. Through project planning lessons, campers will learn how to create sustainability projects step-by-step and on their own. Last year, for example, our campers learned how to organize and promote a concert at a local orphanage, organized a community clean-up, a local cultural exhibition, and held a youth arts exhibition.
The overall goal of the camp is to provide the campers with new skills enabling them to have a positive impact in their home communities. ABC Camp helps grass roots youth projects like these to grow across Ukraine. The more young Ukrainians who are commited to making a difference in their communities, the more likely the country is to continue to progress.
Here is where you come in: We need help to make sure this camp happens – yes I mean financial. We have already received a sizable community contribution from the city of Poltava, but we still need more. The school being used for the camp will provide housing and campers will pay a fee to cover some of their costs throughout the camp. However, we still need help to cover the cost of materials for lessons, projects the students develop, as well as transportation and housing costs for staff members.
Working these camps has been a highlight of my experience here in Ukraine and one of the main reasons I extended my stay. Visit our website, browse around, “meet” the staff, and definitely take a look at the pictures (you’ll find a few candids of yours truly). Most importantly, please click the big “Donate” link. There it will take you directly to Peace Corps’ official grant donation page. All contributions are tax deductible and will go a long way towards helping support ABC Camp 2013.
From all of us at ABC, THANK YOU!
Here are a few more pictures from last year…more found in the gallery section of our website.