Summer vacation in the Carpathians for large foster families: thanks to the Olena Zelenska Foundation 1357 children rested with their parents

15 August 2023
The sixth session of vacation organized by the Olena Zelenska Foundation for large foster families is currently taking place in the Carpathians. From June to August 1357 children and their parents from 218 foster families enjoyed their time at the camp and the Bukovel resort.

This summer families from the regions most affected by the war, from the frontline and de-occupied areas, as well as internally displaced persons, came to rest in the Carpathians. All of them are originally from Kharkiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Luhansk, Donetsk and other regions. The Foundation quickly responded to the disaster at the Kakhovka dam and in the second vacation session invited families who were in dire need of psychological and physical recovery – residents of Kherson and Mykolaiv regions.

The family rehabilitation project was supported by the Jewish Federations of North America (Israel) and the Ulla & Mogens Folmer Andersen’s Charity Foundation (Denmark). With the funds donated by the partners, the Olena Zelenska Foundation financed camp trips for children aged 7 to 17 (200 children per session) and provided logistics for both children and parents.

"Even in times of peace, going on vacation together was an unattainable dream for such families. At the Olena Zelenska Foundation, we have been caring for foster families from the very beginning, and we really wanted to give them a full summer and the opportunity to relax together as a family, no matter how large it might be. We succeeded: thanks to foreign benefactors who we involve in all our projects, the activity of our embassies (especially in Denmark and Israel), this summer, 1357 children with parents from 218 large foster families had a restful time in the Carpathians," said the founder of the Foundation, Olena Zelenska.

"The Foundation began preparing the summer vacation project for large foster families in March. We understood that both parents and children needed to take a breather, a break from the daily routine, from the war and shelling.

After each session we receive dozens of messages and hundreds of vacation photos. We can see how the families have changed, how they have rested. The changes are visible from the outside. Parents went on vacation for the first time since their large foster families were created. Looking into their happy eyes, we understand that we have succeeded," says Nina Horbachova, the Director of the Olena Zelenska Foundation.