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"Our mission is to assist in the reformation of Ukraine consistent with European standards, as well as to introduce democratic values and develop civil society in Ukraine."

From the Statute of
the Center for European Initiatives

31.07.14 17:03

Volunteers for Change – Six European volunteers made a difference in Sumy

 

Six brave and inspiring volunteers from France, Italy and Poland succesfully showed us, that volunteering really can make a difference in our world. The international team managed to overcome various obstacles and fulfilled their task: to set up up a fundraising campaign in just two months and to collect various supplies for the Kosovshina boarding school for disabled children from the local community.

The boarding school is home to children with hearing disabilities. It is a save place for them to learn and develop their skills. But to give the children the possibility to do this, materials are needed. The scholl stuff with their limited finances can't come up with everything on their own. This is why the volunteers were invited to Sumy. The international team got in touch with various small local businesses and enterprises and got them to participate and donate for the good cause. Through this the volunteers were able to bring the children useful products, like art and hand craft materials, which now will make the life of the children a little bit brighter.

At the 20 of March, the volunteers could present the results of their fundraising campaign to the boarding school and see the fruits of their efforts. Togehter with the school administartion, they gave the collected materials to the children. Although their project is finished now, it is clear for all involved, that there is a future for projects like these: "t will be a great moment to go there and deliver everything that we collected. Although we are leaving Ukraine, (…) we know that the project will continue after this.

From the beginning, the volunteers were showing a strong belief in the project and were determined to fulfill their goal: „That is our aim for now, to help this school, to help those children, because they need a special environment for their better and quicker recovery. We hope that our work of 'Volunteers for Change' will be productive.”

Of course it took some time to understand the best approaches to funds and businesses of Sumy to involve them in the fundraising campaign but with the help of brainstorming and strategic planning the volunteers’ efforts became rewarding, and the pile of books, stationery, equipment and other materials gathered for the Internat was growing day to day.

During the time of the project, a close bond formed between the volunteers and the children of the internat. The volunteers were strongly inspired by their new friends, as one of them explained: „The children of this school are so talented! Though they have some physical disabilities they try to be as usual kids and even more. (...) we could not imagine that these kids are so dedicated, strong in spirit and believe in their strength!"

But the biggest thanks should be be said to the people of Sumy. Only their participation guaranteed the success of the project. They willingly gave despite the difficult times right now. This is what the project really is about. “Volunteers for Change” is aimed at promotion of active citizenship, understanding of cultural diversity and fostering of tolerance among young people. Togehter with their Ukrainian helpers, the volunteers showed that all this is possible: „Going to the Internat was an amazing experience for each of us and our aim now is to say thank you to everyone that, in different ways, made it possible.“

The project was supported by the Youth in Action Programme.

Blog developed by the volunteers >>

Videos about the project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyactsryg3M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78GoRG3bWrs