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!”