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Good Adventures at the Ivan Spring...

August 26, 2011, 15:00 5922 Author: Vladimir Krasnogolovyi, translated by Anna Oliynyk sharetravel.com.ua 27 children from large, low-income, single-parent and rural families from the Zaporozhye region entered the camp called Adventurers' (a la Mayne Ried) on July 22 2011

Video plot about the camp on Zaporozhye TV channel

In the forest, on the territory of the Velikiy Lug National Natural Park you may find the Ivan Spring. Once upon a time a young priest from the Western Ukraine found this spring, cleaned it up, blessed it and equipped a new comfortable way to access it. In 2006 archpriest Ivan passed away when he was just 34 years old. Local people take care of the territory around the spring, remember their priest, bring fresh flowers, and install various self-made furnishings here.

Just in several years this site turned into a place of interest with light and a bit sad spirit. A wonderful forest, rocks which look much like the ones you may find in the Crimea, Kakhovsky Sea shore just a few meters away. Volunteers of The Happy Child Charity Foundation found this place just by chance and came to an agreement with the park authorities to have a tent camp for children installed next to the Ivan Spring.

Touristic program is one of the key areas of activities of The Happy Child Foundation as well as support of sick children and creating family-type children’s homes. Giving presents to orphanages is a good idea only from the PR point of view – during pre-election campaigns all candidates take a chance to give a TV set or a similar present to orphans. Thanks God, support of shelters in Ukraine is improving every year, but the issue of getting orphans adapted to the social life remains vital. Every child needs a family for his or her normal development. Nothing will make up for it. If there is no family, what can a child see within four walls of an orphanage, apart from the TV set given as a present during the most recent elections?

For any person it would most likely be not so easy to remember a routine day, but anyone would be happy to tell about his or her last trip or vacation spent in a camp when one was a seventh-grade student. Impressions, feeling of something new, adventures and the joy of discovery of the big world with its endless possibilities – this is what our parents gave us and what many children lack today. Even if a child is not an orphan – not every family may afford sending him or her to a camp or to a trip. Travel agencies set crazy prices for their services, schools and young tourist stations seem to forget about children during summer time. So what are those children supposed to do? Again be left within four walls, watching TV?

The Happy Child Foundation has, for the last five years been organizing and carrying out hiking trips to the Crimea and the Carpathian Mountains as well as sightseeing tours to Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Lvov and other cities when it is cold...

“Of course, it is easier when we arrange hiking trips, there are different settings and children do not have time to get bored, - says the director of the Foundation Albert Pavlov, - And this year we decided to organize a tent camp – and faced a number of difficulties: the program should be thought over more thoroughly, the children should be busy with games and competitions all the time. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to invite interesting guests to the camp, hold workshops...”

Stanislav Shynkarenko, performer of the Regional Academic Symphony Orchestra took real drums to the camp. The design of the instrument and different ways of playing it arouse a true curiosity even among adults visiting and working in the camp, and as for the children – they were really excited! Especially when they visited an energetic workshop presented by three musicians. Watch a small but a very lively video to feel the atmosphere of the Adventurers’ Camp.

Apart from having an interesting musical program, the children learnt to make toys and pretty pretties with their own hands, install tents, cook and even drive a car!

A volunteer of the Foundation – a tourist from Zaporozhye Anton Bondarenko – delivers lectures on tourism, teaches children to use a compass, to have an eye for the ground. On Sunday the Adventurers even went on a real tourist trip seeking adventures. They found their way along picturesque but not very traversable shore of the Kakhovsky Sea to the nearest village of Skelky and came back using a highway. Anton pointed out that the children showed their strong personalities and coped with all the difficulties really well!

Sasha (the picture below) came to the camp from the village of Panfilovka. His grandmother works in a local orphanage and when she offered him to come to the camp he did not have even a moment’s hesitation. Sasha is 13 and he is sure he’s ready for adventures! He likes living in the countryside, this was his first touristic trip and now he wants more! He only says it’s a pity he did not have a chance to drive a car!

Children who live in the camp are 7 to 17 years old. E.g., Bogdana and Yaroslav are one of the eldest here – they came from the far-away Chernovtsi and became a great help to the organizers of the camp – in future they will take part in similar projects of the Foundation as volunteers.

The final stage of the busy schedule of the Adventurers’ Camp was visiting Berdyansk Waterpark. Some visiting journalists said they would not mind sending their own children to a camp like this, and those who did not have children were secretly feeling sorry they were grown-ups, enjoyed singing songs together with the children and the musicians and did not want to leave the Ivan Spring...

This camp has been organized using the money collected at the charitable auction on 1 June, where children’s things which used to belong to well-known Zaporozhye citizens were sold. Touristic program of The Happy Child Foundation operates thanks to the donations of ordinary people, just like you and me. Charity is not a game for oligarchs, they think at the Foundation, it is the things you are ready to do for someone else, e.g. for Zaporozhye children...

You may see some more photos from the Adventurers’ Camp. The photos hereinafter have been taken by Andrey Gamayunov. You may also check out the photo story prepared by Iren.

The Ivan Spring – clearest cold water is running from under a mossy stone...

Tent camp...

Amazing crafts and toys which children made with their own hands...

They also decorated the camp in their own peculiar way...

The guests are making themselves comfortable while elder guys are cooking a hiking meal! On the right – Bogdana, a volunteer from Chernovtsi

The younger ones are taking some rest...

...or trying to figure out tomorrow’s road to the Waterpark...

Or playing sports games...

Or logical games...

Or sometimes something really weird and puzzling...

Guests do not lose their time too and are preparing a program of their own...

Stanislav Shynkarenko, Yura and Aleksey present an interesting concert, playing the songs of Bob Dylan and such groups as the Beatles, Sky and Ocean Elzy...

"Knock knock knockin' on heaven's door..." the children are singing along, though the song is not really childish...

Later on the musicians deliver a workshop to the Adventurers...

And soon the whole camp is performing!

The director of the Happy Child Charity Foundation Albert Pavlov is sure that drums are an essential thing in a trip where there are any children of 7 and up ;)

A young drummer!

Those who did not play drums also found things to do, and I finally got acquainted with a wonderful person and an interesting tourist Anton BondarenkoDastina wrote about him in the Travelers Club in her article Travel for Good (in Russian) – Anton traveled through Ukraine riding his bicycle to collect money for treatment of a sick boy from Zaporozhye – read this material, it is really impressive. And not so long ago Anton came back from Solovetsky Islands...

Zaporozhye TV channels could not help paying attention to the camp, it is a pity that not all journalists were responsive to the invitation to come and visit, though they should have done it...

...those who failed to come to the camp missed a really good event and did not receive a powerful shot of positive energy!

We promise that the Travelers Club will tell about all touristic events of The Happy Child Foundation.

We wish you good luck!

Laughing contest

Drum play workshops

Videophoto against the background of Kakhovsky Sea

In Berdyansk Waterpark

In Berdyansk Waterpark

We thank the administration of Berdyansk Nemo Dolphinarium for support they provided to children!

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, since 2004

They need help:
Tymofii Lapkov
Tymofii Lapkov

Severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia. II degree respiratory failure

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Oleksiy Marchuk
Oleksiy Marchuk

cerebral palsy, spastic tetraparesis

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You donated in 2024

$ 101 429

Our expenses in 2024
To 64 sick children $31 537
Medical equipment: $7 266
Humanitarian help: $28 611
To disabled children: $43 687
To children's village: $1 183
To orphans and poor children: $5 514
"Helpus" - help to adults: $17 961
Service expenses: $16 886
Total sum of expenses: $154 736

$6 871 027

donated since 2007