One of our most important tasks is to support children and young people from Ukraine, as well as to help them integrate with their Polish peers. We organise not only summer camps and trips but also a variety of activities for Ukrainian and Polish children throughout the school year. In summer, these are semi-camps as well as hiking and canoeing camps, and in winter, sports camps in the mountains. The camps and trips we organise aim to give the participants an opportunity to get to know one another and make friends, to teach them teamwork and co-responsibility for the group, and to foster their independence and persistence.
We are inspired by Maria Montessori’s words:
Everyone talks about peace, but no one educates for peace. People educate for competition and this is the beginning of any war. When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace.
In 2022, we organised free-of-charge leisure semi-camps for 800 refugee children from Ukraine. We also organised trips for 320 children, including hiking camps in the Bieszczady Mountains, two rafting trips down the Pisa River, as well as camps by the sea in Stegna and in the Tatra Mountains, in Małe Ciche.
The children and young people were looked after by Polish-Ukrainian staff including KIK members, “SzkoUA” staff members as well as Ukrainian tutors, who came to Poland for this very purpose.
Thanks to the KIK community and a number of donors, it was possible to make the camps free of charge for the Ukrainian participants. We also succeeded in providing children with basic equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, carrimats, raincoats and mess kits.
In the winter of 2023, the trips brought together 84 Ukrainian refugee children. The trips included skiing, doing sports and sightseeing in the mountains: in Zawadka Rymanowska and Mszana Dolna, as well as in Brachlewo (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship), following the trail of Teutonic castles.
The summer activities in 2023 were joined by as many as 552 children. The activities included a semi-camp near Warsaw, by the Świder River; hiking camps in the Bieszczady Mountains and in Bory Tucholskie; canoeing and rafting camps down the Wda and Wela Rivers; and camps at a scouting facility on Lake Ocypel and in Brachlewo near Malbork. The camps were supervised by Polish-Ukrainian staff previously trained under the programme of “Góry Liderów” (“Mountains of Leadership”).
Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, Goldman Sachs, private and business donors
In the autumn of 2023, we started a new project titled “Otwarta Warszawa – ciastko i kawa” (“Open Warsaw – coffee and cake”) aiming to bring together Ukrainian and Polish high-school students throughout the school year. Young people are encouraged to visit four cafés in Warsaw in groups of 2 to 6 people. They will receive free coffee and a snack.
The Boston Foundation