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Summer camps can provide a much-needed distraction from daily problems

European cities will provide summer camps for Ukrainian children

European cities will provide summer camps for Ukrainian children

There they can regain their sense of normality and shake off the trauma

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR), together with Vitaliy Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, launched yesterday a new programme that will organize summer camps for Ukrainian children in European cities. The initiative was promoted during the 149th Plenary Session of the Committee and will be of benefit to school-age kids from the war-torn regions of the Eastern European country.

Children between the ages of 6 and 17 and their accompanying caregivers (1 adult per 10 children) will have the chance to stay with their peers and receive targeted psychological support to stabilize their emotional state and help distract them from traumatising experiences.

Europe as a safe space

The overall aim is to create a space where they will be able to feel safe and find normality through a balanced daily routine that could contribute to restoring confidence in the future. Outdoor activities, sports and rehabilitation activities would help to improve physical and mental health.

Development classes will enrich the knowledge of each child or young person and provide the experience of communicating in a foreign language while professional psychological support should be available in the children's mother tongue.​ ​

"This project is a concrete and crucial priority for usCoR Members from all across the Union have already shown their willingness to welcome children and are mobilised to disseminate information about this initiative among all EU's local and regional authorities, in cooperation with leading territorial associations", explained the CoR President Apostolos Tzitzikostas.

Roberto Gualtieri, the mayor of Rome, confirmed at the plenary session that his city will definitely take part in the initiative.

The duration of the camps will be 4-5 weeks or more, depending on the availability of local organisers. The costs of children's stay in the camp, including the journey and activities during the camp, are covered by the hosts - the local/regional authority with the potential involvement of local private partners.​​

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