Every summer since 1998 we have been taking children and young adults with disabilities from Zhuravichi and Rechitsa Institutions in Belarus to Ptich Sanatorium. A sanatorium is a kind of holiday camp and health spa where visitors can also receive health treatments.
In recent years we have also been able to send a few adults from Vikov institution for a sanatorium holiday.
Each summer, we fly teams of volunteers from Britain to make sure that the children and young adults have a wonderful holiday. organising all sorts of fun and games to make their holiday one that they will never forget.
This short video was made by Alina Isachenka during one of the holidays at Ptich. You can also take a look at this photobook which has lots of lovely photos taken by some of our volunteers over the years along with their thoughts about the effects that the experience has had on them (you will need to be using a computer rather than a mobile phone to view the photobook). One of our recent volunteers, Neil, has written an amusing and very informative blog about his experience of volunteering at Ptich, which is well worth a read.
Some of our more experienced volunteers go to Zhuravichi and Rechitsa Institutions instead of to the sanatorium, they spend time with the children and young people who are not able to go on holiday and make sure they have a happy summer too.
These volunteers also visit Vikov, an institution for adults with psychological disorders. Many of the residents here are quite elderly and some have dementia and, while some enjoy all the same sorts of activities, others simply appreciate the company of someone who’ll sit and listen to their stories.
One of our recent volunteers, Ellen, has written a very moving blog about her experience volunteering at Zhuravichi and Vikov.
“Volunteering with CCP (UK) was a lifechanging experience. I have made friends for life and met the most amazing people. I couldn’t imagine my life without annual trips to Belarus with the charity”
“This charity has held a special place in my heart for many years now. After hosting children from Belarus at home I couldn’t wait to travel to the country itself to bring smiles to many more faces”!
“Volunteering with CCP (UK) has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did. It truly is a ‘you have to see it to believe it’ phenomenon”.
“I was so nervous before my first trip, but when one of the kids jumped straight into my arms as I came through the gate my nerves vanished instantly and I knew this was the place I was meant to be”
“Volunteering for CCP (UK) has been a truly life-changing experience for me. It helped me understand what’s truly important for me, who I am and what I want to do in life”.
“There are very few feelings in life as joyous as giggling with another person…..challenge yourself to go…it’s going to be one of your best summer holidays ever if you want a life changing experience”!
“The smile on my face says it all – best two weeks of my life!”
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer, download our Volunteer Information Pack. It includes the following documents:
If you would like more information or have some questions then we will be only too pleased to hear from you, so do please get in touch:
Volunteer Coordinator: Lynne Murphy
Deadline for receiving application forms: 30th April.
All applicants will be informed if they have been successful or not by 7th May (subject to clearance by the Disclosure & Barring Service). If you apply after this there may still be spaces for people with relevant experience.
On acceptance you will need to attend a residential weekend near Buxton on May 19th/20th.
Provisional travel dates for this year will be:
Holiday camp for children and young adults at Ptich Sanatorium
Group 1 Saturday July 27th (from Manchester) to Saturday August 10th (to Manchester)
Group 2 Saturday 10th August (from Manchester) to Wednesday 21st August (to Gatwick)
Volunteers going to work in the institutions at Zhuravichi and Vikov (only suitable for people who have significant experience in working with people with disabilities)
Group 1 Saturday July 20th to Saturday August 3rd (to and from Manchester)
Group 2 Saturday August 3rd to Saturday August 17th (to and from Manchester)
All of these travel dates will be confirmed nearer the time.