Summer Camp

  11.08.2023 Local News, Charity & Support, OUTDOOR - HIKING - BIKING, Local News

… is long-awaited and cherished by many children as their favourite event to meet friends, have adventures and make memories. But for some children, this is not a given at all. Due to special circumstances, some have never had the opportunity to participate in what most children take for granted. A summer camp far away from the daily struggles, where they are free and safe to be … well, just children!

Two local charity organisations like Cura Children’s Foundation and Innocence in Danger play a vital role in ensuring the happiness and protection of young lives. One of their most impactful initiatives is organising summer camps in the idyllic setting of Saanenland. These camps go beyond just providing a much-needed and fun-filled break away from daily life; they serve as transformative experiences that empower and educate children, making a lasting positive impact on their lives. Through a combination of recreational activities, emotional support, and valuable life skills, these camps create a nurturing environment where children can flourish and forge friendships for the future.

Cura Childrens Foundation Inclusion camp
There’s a real summer camp feeling in the chalet in the woods; the children help to cook their own meals, they will swim, hike, go horse-back riding, row on the lake and do many other activities. Fun-filled days, for children with and without disabilities, where they can play undisturbed and discover that they have more in common than what separates them.

Founders Caroline Lo Faro and Carina Jones emphasise the importance of keeping their foundation work small. “It is vital to us that we oversee all details in the projects we create. We follow it from beginning to end and sometimes even after completion. Keeping it small and personal is kind of our mission; we know where every penny and cent gets spent, and we are both 110% involved, especially in the camps. It’s very much the feeling of being part of a large chaotic family that has gone on camp, just like in normal life, says Caroline laughing.” We have made some valuable experiences and adjusted to it. She tells me about an incident last year involving a small band-aid and an even smaller cut on the finger; “So cooking stopped, and everything got a bit crazy for 15 minutes, but the kids laughed about it afterwards and really took it in strides. “Taught us that making a lava chocolate cake is not a good idea, so we adapt”.

“This year we have a special event with one of our partners OhJosh (another local charity), we are doing a cartoon workshop together with Joshua and his sister, explains Carina. A teacher will guide the kids, and they will make some super cool cartoons about the camp. On the final day, all the cartoons will be revealed to friends and family.”

Innocence in Danger
This year’s summer camp is offered to Ukrainian orphanage children who are in Switzerland under the protection of the government. Hosted at the Alpenblick Foundation, the retreat aims to empower their artistic talents. This summer, they will do the artwork for a logo to be launched on World Children’s Day in Paris. The logo combines the Innocence in Danger logo with a symbol reminding us of our duties and responsibilities towards children. It will hereafter be awarded to companies that are child friendly and conscious of their social responsibility.

The program offers diverse activities that cater to various senses. They will engage in an outdoor mandala art workshop using natural elements to foster love, respect, and care for the environment while restoring belief in a society that has let them down.

Additionally, there’s a gong bath workshop where they’ll learn breathing techniques for calming the mind and boosting imagination.

Moreover, they’ll have the chance to experience the transformative power of music through two classical concerts. They attend one at the Menuhin Festival, and the other is a private event hosted by Mookie Menuhin.

“We aim to bring beauty and culture to the lives of the children, to widen their horizons and develop and discover talents. I wanted to make sure they experience contexts and acknowledge that there is also beauty, love and good in the world despite their past experiences”, says Homayra Sellier, founder of Innocence in Danger.


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