The photo exhibit Happiness is… is still being hosted by Ternopil but the staff of the Mobile Work with Children project is learning what brings their clients joy. They not only strive to find out what brings them happiness, they try to increase the frequency of these happy moments.
Last week, as they have been doing for years, Caritas Ternopil staff organized a vacation to the Carpathian Mountains for children living in families in crisis. 14 children from multi-child and disadvantaged families had the opportunity to visit a ski resort in the village of Muhove, Chernivtsi region.
“Most of the children who are clients of Caritas were involved in the photo exhibit Happiness is… They hung posters, distributed flyers, made purses, cards and icons to sell and they helped bake cookies for the dessert buffet. A lot of effort was put into rewarding them for their efforts—an opportunity to learn how to ski.
They supplemented money earned from selling their crafts with program funds to cover the expenses. This was a good stimulus to get them interested in producing their crafts for sale. This way they learn not only to wait for help but to help themselves,” explains Olya Khil’ko, a social worker at the local caritas.
The staff of the Mobile Work with Youth in Ukraine was rewarded by the comments and impressions of their clients. Practically each of them said that a dream of theirs came true—they got to try skiing. They were most impressed by how easy it was for them to learn the basics.
They rode the lifts, fell, got up, skied, fell, and went up the hills again. This and much more helped create stronger friendships. They felt supported by the staff who became their instructors and they realized they had more opportunities. It is very pleasing to be with a child when one of their dreams comes true.
A video of the photo exhibit Happiness is… in Ternopil can be seen here.