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Full digitalization! How the project "Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Peaceful summer" operates in terms of quarantine


Lera Streltsova at the age of six experienced terrible stress-she witnessed fierce fighting in Kramatorsk. Now, being 13, she still remembers the roar of machine-gun fire, the loud explosions of grenades, and people running erratically through the streets. She remembers her mother's panic, her tears and hugs, in which the closest person wanted to hide the baby from the horror that was happening around.

– I was afraid that all these trials will affect my daughter. Fortunately, drawing helped to overcome fears which she appeared. She poured out her emotions on paper, -  Yulia Streltsova, the child's mother says.

A unique project "Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Peaceful summer" of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation was launched six years ago. A special system of psychological rehabilitation was developed especially for it, thanks to which children living along the contact line in the Donbas learn to overcome stress and its consequences. Since 2015, about 4,500 schoolchildren have participated in the project.

– The understanding that such a project is necessary became obvious  in the first year of the armed conflict. As the summer of 2015 approached, it became clear that the problem of affected children is broader than it is said. Children had injuries, they experienced  fear, stress, bombing, crying, death, more bombing. Even adults can't stand it, the child's situation can be even worse. Displaced children also have psychological traumas: the problem of adapting to a new place is layered with fear, - Oksana Ishchuk, Project and program Manager of the Foundation says.

In 2019, Lera Streltsova became a participant of the project “Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Peaceful summer" and learned about other effective methods of dealing with stress. From the sanatorium "Perlyna Donechchyna" Lera came back rested and happy. She wanted to go to the camp again in 2020, but coronavirus pandemic started  and any mass events, especially children's camps, were banned.

- My daughter was very upset. And then we were invited to participate in the new format of "Peaceful summer" online. We didn't know what to expect, but on the first day it became clear that the project was amazing, –Yulia Streltsova says.

In 2020, the project "Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Peaceful summer" has really changed a lot. Due to quarantine security measures due to the coronavirus epidemic, the project is being implemented in an online format on the Zoom platform and in the telegram messenger. But the mission remained unchanged - to help children of Donbass who have suffered mental injuries.

This year, about 80 participants still communicate with psychologists and listen to lectures on mine hazards. But the main activity is "Cinema Summer". This is the name of a unique project in which boys and girls learn to make movies and videos.

Standard day of the participant of the project "Rinat Akhmetov-Children. Peaceful summer " this year looks like this. First, the rise and joint exercises in the online form. Here children are helped by “Digital PE”, an educational series produced by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation in collaboration with FC Shakhtar and the Ministry of Digital transformation of Ukraine. Then communication with psychologists – individually and in gropus. And then the lectures "Cinema Summer", during which children are told about the history of cinema and video blogging, give lessons in editing and acting, learn the basics of promoting their videos in social networks.

- Teaching children the art of film and video shooting is my constant professional activity. In March, I also had to switch to online mode, so the remote format of working with children is already familiar to me. But I also get new experience during the project "Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Peaceful summer”, - the experience of teaching 7-9 years old children, who previously did not do anything like this. I made  a discovery. It turns out that modern children at this age are able to perceive quite difficult information about how to record sound or, for example, what is "size". Overall, I have great impressions of the project. Good organization, great kids! –the hostess of the intensive "Cinema Summer" Kateryna Usmentseva says.

The mother of the project participant Lera Streltsova also speaks about it enthusiastically:

- It is  a great alternative during quarantine! Children already spend all their time in gadgets, but it turned out that they can be useful. Instead of consuming information garbage, they get useful knowledge and skills. I saw how my daughter got involved in video production thanks to the project. Thanks to  the Foundation for such an exciting experience, –Yulia Streltsova said.

Lera confirms her mother's words:

– I'm already thinking about how to use all this information. I'll probably become a video blogger.

Rinat Akhmetov is the only one in Ukraine who systematically and on a large scale provides assistance to children of Donbass. The projects in this area include rehabilitation of injured children, assistance in their treatment and prosthetics, and development projects for children deprived of parental care.