Joy begins, the summer solidarity campaign for Sport Without Borders. 60 Ukrainian children added

Summer camps, nature weekends, summer camps and workshops. The project was first tested by the Amatrice earthquake and then by the collapse of the Morandi Bridge. Victims fleeing the war are now involved

Photo of the DIRE Agency

ROME – Andriy and Yulia are two brothers, aged 12 and 9, who arrived in Rome from Lviv in western Ukraine shortly after the outbreak of war with their mother Luba, who is currently pregnant. Thanks to a report they arrive at Sport Senza Frontiere (SSF) which in a short time manages to insert them in a swimming course and Joy Nature weekends in Capranica, in May. They now attend school in Italy and the swimming course twice a week, have already completed their first certification and will participate in the Joy Summer Camp in Leonessa. Marc and Kateryna, on the other hand, are 11 and 9 years old. In Ukraine, Marc was diagnosed with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and regular attendance at sports activities was of great importance for his development. SSF, after medical and psychological visits, manages to include both in the basketball and swimming courses and make them participate in the Joy Nature weekend in Capranica in May and in the next one-week Summer Camp in Leonessa.

These are just four of the many stories of Ukrainian children, mothers and grandmothers that SSF has intercepted in recent months and has taken over. Since March, it has managed to include some 60 Ukrainian children in free guaranteed sports courses in several cities in Italy, which have found a concrete possibility of activity, play and normalcy even in our country. They join the hundreds of children in situations of socio-economic difficulty that the well-known Onlus usually follows throughout the year. Now that the summer season is opening, the association is expanding its group of friends and ensuring the continuity of the intervention through the Joy Summer 2022 campaign.

“Joy,” explains Alessandro Tappa, president of Sport Senza Frontiere, “is the project that lends itself best to emergencies.” We first experienced it with the children of families who were left homeless after the Amatrice earthquake; then we proposed it to many Genoese children whose houses were destroyed by the collapse of the Morandi bridge; In the last two years, Joy has shown a powerful model of intervention to get out, physically and mentally, of the harsh months of pandemic and confinement through weekends, weeks, summer centers for hundreds of children across Italy , burdened by the stress of the closures. It allows us to offer the children we follow throughout the year and many others who inform us as a result of emergencies, the opportunity to live a meaningful experience of friendship, inclusion, sports and laboratory activities, as well as psychological counseling. “

Joy is the summer project designed by Sport Senza Frontiere, open to all children and adolescents and especially dedicated to those who live in situations of social fragility or emergency situations. Joy takes its name and also the heritage of values ​​of the first multi-sport residential camp of Sport Senza Frontiere Joy Summer Camp, born in 2017, in Terminillo (Rieti). The 2017 camp was intended to be a solidarity action with the families affected by the earthquake in central Italy, but then continued over the years and housed more than 800 children, many of whom came from different emergencies, such as Ponte children. Morandi or young people, refugees and asylum seekers, children of humanitarian corridors and now minors in Ukraine. Over the years, Joy has become a true laboratory of social inclusion.

“Over the years,” says National Coordinator Alessia Mantovani, “we have reshaped our intervention based on the different needs of our children and the emergencies that some have experienced. This has allowed SSF to flood its range of actions and plan activities that increase incisiveness and effectiveness. The Joy project has allowed us to expand our intervention by expanding the audience of beneficiaries and incorporating not only children from socioeconomic backgrounds that we usually follow throughout the year, but also children in conditions of psychosocial isolation, the most widespread pest. today among the youngest by confinements and closures or, in recent months, young people from Ukraine. Summer camps and summer camps are open spaces, places of integration and thanks to the workshops they are also presented as an opportunity for children to grow from a psychological, nutritional and social point of view ”.

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