Thank you for joining us today, Yaroslav! Can you tell us more about the Kurenivka Kids Camp that took place in August 2022?
Absolutely! Kurenivka Kids Camp was a project based on the principles of Burning Man, and it took place in Zakarpattia in August 2022. We welcomed over 100 people, including 70 kids aged 4-16. The idea behind the camp was to create a space where children could explore their creativity, learn new skills, and experience the unique atmosphere of the Burning Man community.
What motivated you to create this camp for children?
War has caused great destruction and casualties, not only in the physical sense but also in the mental sense. And, of course, the most vulnerable are children. Ukrainians react to war in different ways, but we have shown ourselves to be a truly civil society. I am a Burner, and I spread the Burning Man culture in Ukraine, so it is not surprising that my volunteer project is helping children. I thought, "What can I do to distract children from war, to give them smiles?" That's when the idea of Kurenivka Kids Camp came to me.
Can you share some highlights of the activities that took place during the camp?
We had various activities designed to encourage creativity and personal growth. Some of these included a field kitchen where kids assisted in cooking meals, an art workshop for clay modeling and drawing, a dance floor with a DJ school, water adventures like kayaking, and a recycling station that taught the importance of environmental care. We also had a professional child psychologist on site to help the kids with any emotional or psychological issues they might have been facing.
What was the impact of the camp on the children and the community?
The Kurenivka Kids Camp profoundly impacted both the children and the community. The kids learned valuable life skills, built new friendships, and discovered their creative potential. The experience also helped some of them overcome the psychological trauma caused by the war in Ukraine. As for the community, we saw an increased sense of unity and collaboration among the participants and a strengthened connection to the global Burning Man community.
I understand that Kurenivka Kids Camp was a charitable project and participation was free for the attendees. Could you tell us more about the fundraising efforts and the support you received from donors?
Absolutely! From the very beginning, we wanted the Kurenivka Kids Camp to be accessible to all children, regardless of their families financial situation. To make this possible, we relied on fundraising and generous donor support. Many of our donors were active members of the global Burning Man community, and they truly believed in our mission.It's truly heartwarming to see how the global Burning Man community came together to impact the lives of these children positively. We received donations from burners in the USA, Germany, and Lithuania and a grant from Nova Ukraine, among others. Their support enabled us to provide a life-changing experience to the children, and we are incredibly grateful for their contributions.
Do you have any plans for future Kurenivka Kids Camps or similar projects?
Yes, we are definitely considering organizing more Kurenivka Kids Camps in the future. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants, and we believe there's great potential for expanding the project to reach even more children and families. We're also open to collaborating with other organizations and individuals who share our values and vision for creating a more compassionate and creative society.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Yaroslav. We wish you the best of luck in your future projects and hope to see the Kurenivka Kids Camp continue to thrive and inspire the next generation.
Thank you for having me! We're excited about what the future holds and look forward to continuing our work in creating transformative experiences for children and the community.