Air Campaign for a Children's Home in Western Ukraine
The donated bus is now in service
Thanks to numerous donations – heartfelt thanks for all of them – and in cooperation with the Rotary Club Obermain, a bus could be purchased to be used by a children’s home in Western Ukraine. Meanwhile it has arrived there, and we are happy that it will support the many extremely commited members of staff in this children’s home in their so very important work.
It is hard to imagine what children are currently experiencing in Ukraine: nightly air raid sirens, long waits in underground stations, visible destruction and increasing pressure on all families. Friends have left, families are fleeing, also within Ukraine. All of a sudden, the future is extremely uncertain. In some regions, regular schools no longer exist, or all teaching is now online. Social contacts are disrupted, and presumably almost all families in Ukraine are experiencing incredible psychological pressure. Fathers are fighting at the front, mothers are full of fear, friends are abroad.
The Ukrainian government tries to provide some relief with children’s camps for families who are particularly hard-hit.
One of these camps is situated in a small village in the Ukrainian part of the Carpathian mountains near the Slovakian border. This is where last year, a former Soviet recreation home was converted and made ready for this purpose. Since then hundreds of children from the most troubled conflict zones of Kharkiv and Kherson have been able to spend some weeks here, to get away from the horrors of war and to find a bit of comfort and rest.
In this camp, there is a major emphasis on theatre, music and art. In addition to sports, any artistic activity gives the children an experience of community, an opportunity to immerse themselves in another world, an urgently needed breather. It is impressive to see the commitment of the Ukrainian carers in this camp.
In autumn 2022, one of the refugees who had found shelter in the guesthouse of Schloss Weißenbrunn, returned to Ukraine in order to work in this camp. He reported about his work with the children and about the conditions in this camp. What the camp most urgently needed was a bus to pick up children from the next railway station and to do the shopping. So, the Schloss Weißenbrunn Foundation, together with the Rotary Club Obermain initiated a fundraising campaign which managed to collect the sum of 12,000 Euros for a second-hand bus. Added to these were many donations in kind organised by Rotary friends. And finally the bus could be transferred to Ukraine without hitches.
After a closure during the winter and further repair measures, now finally children may come here again. Currently there are 300 children in the camp, and pictures show the fully occupied bus doing its job.
The president of the Rotary Club Obermain, Bertram Steiner, expressed his delight that the bus, which had been organised by a Rotary friend, is so visibly bringing joy and has been able to support the logistics of this children’s home.
Wolfgang Kropp and Pia Praetorius, executives of the Schloss Weißenbrunn Foundation, would like to thank all those who responded to the Foundation’s call for donations and supported this campaign.
A successful cooperation of the RC Obermain and the Schloss Weißenbrunn Foundation, and concrete help on the ground which will hopefully be able to provide valuable support to these sorely afflicted children for quite some time.