“Our Visitors Are Bright Children With Terrible Memories of Shelling and Losses”: The Counsellor of the Blogger Camp Shared Her Story With the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
Maria met the full-scale war in her hometown Chernihiv. For a long time, she could not believe that those events were not a dream. It is especially difficult to come to terms with reality when children tell you about shelling attacks, life under occupation, and evacuation... And about their killed family members. The girl shared her story with the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. She works as a counsellor at the Blogger Camp, a children’s camp organized by the Foundation. The children who suffered from the war rest and improve their health there.
“The scariest thing was in the first days, when we were told that there could be people – our Ukrainian people – who leaked information. They reported where we lived, and they put some marks. It was hard to trust people around you. When someone asked for help: to open the door, give some bread or water... And you did not know if they were standing there with a gun or if they really needed help,” recalls Maria.
She works with children who have come for a rest and recovery session provided by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. The counsellor says that boys and girls that come to the camp have very hard stories. Many of them have lost one of their family members. Many have had their homes destroyed. The children recall how they were leaving their homes and how they came under shelling attacks. There are children with health issues. Maria and other staff members try to help them.
“We recounted everything and spoke everything out with each child. I would not like to stir up their memories yet another time, but they need to speak it out. I remain one-two-one with them, or one-to-two if someone is with a brother or a sister, and they tell me their stories the way they want to. It is like reliving all these memories. Then they need to get out of this state: we go for a walk and change the focus of their attention. And then we can return to the camp again, back to normal life,” the girl shares her experience.
Maria hopes that the support of her team will help these boys and girls, who have been through so much, and will bring a positive effect for them. She calls them bright children and dreams that they become good people when they grow up. Maria’s full story is available at the link.
The Blogger Camp offers the opportunity to rest and recuperate, work with psychologists, as well as an opportunity to master the skills of a blogger. In the framework of the project Rinat Akhmetov for Children. Peaceful Rest for Children of Ukraine almost 5,000 children from all over the country have received opportunity for health improvement and professional psychological help.
Every war story matters. To keep the memory for a better future, share your story on the portal of the Museum of Civilian Voices https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/ or via the toll-free hotline 0 (800) 509 001.