Summer 2022 in Ukraine is an especially stressful time for adults and children as the country remains embroiled in war.
Ukrainians are living with the burden of anxiety and uncertainty as their new reality and it is taking a toll on kids, even though adults are doing their best to protect them.
"Everybody feels unsafe, even in relatively safe zones. The sound of air-raid warnings has become usual. That's why summer camp is a precious healing time for kids. We also pray that God covers this place with His shield," says Mission Without Borders Ukraine coordinator, Misha.
Mission Without Borders staff and volunteers in Ukraine are thankful they have been able to offer their free summer camp program this year, albeit scaled-back from original plans due to the war.
Over the last two years, the global pandemic either forced the closure of the camps, or severely limited how many kids could gather. And now with the war displacing millions of Ukrainians from their homes, the summer camps are especially important to give kids a sense of normality and a safe place to play.
Alina (12-years-old) is from Rivne and shares: "On the second day of war, the airport in Rivne was bombed. We heard the sound and laid on the floor. Mother covered me with her body, waiting for the next shelling. The reality of war came to our lives. I am old enough to realize (the) possible horrors of war. It became the daily concern for me.
Here in camp, I started feeling relief and joy. I became happier and started believing, that God is able to help Ukraine. These days are (the) first colour days after (the) black and white days of war."
You can help provide a child in need a safe place to play by supporting Mission Without Borders' Summer Camp program. A gift of $25 provides one day of camp for a child in Eastern Europe. Our camps run between three and 10 days, depending on the country and the region.
Summer camps in Romanian and Moldova are supporting additional Ukrainian kids who have been forced to flee the war, giving them a place to get away from the stress of their new reality and build new relationships.