Forget the war in Ukraine for two weeks: children camp in Wittenborn

Wittenborn.At Pentecost, the youth camp in Wittenborn by Lake Mözener does not celebrate, but works. Preparations for a holiday stay for Ukrainian children and young people are underway.

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The project is carried out largely on a voluntary basis, says Marco Maibaum, leader of the place and former employee of the Neumünster youth association. It started in Neumünster.

On the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, an employee of the Stadtwerke Neumünster with Ukrainian roots celebrated his birthday. Mayor Tobias Bergmann congratulated her and learned first-hand about the situation in Novovolynsk, a city in Ukraine near Poland. A close contact was established through a friend in the local city administration, and there were aid deliveries there.

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Fascinated by the performance of the Ukrainians, Dietrich Mohr, leader of the youth association Neumünster, reports that 10,000 so-called internally displaced people have now been taken in and accommodated there. Small houses were built at a rate unthinkable by German standards, but refugees were also accommodated in resorts.

Youth camp Wittenborn is happy to host Ukrainians

They are now blocking the residence of holiday projects for those children who have three months of summer vacation in Ukraine. “Doing nothing for three months is not good for anyone, especially not children,” said Dietrich Mohr, who remembered the Wittenborn youth camp.

From June 7 to August 31, 120 Ukrainian children and young people will enjoy relaxing days at the Wittenborn camp. Dietrich Mohr, 1st chairman of the Neumünster Youth Association had the idea.

There he ran into the open doors of Marco Maibaum. “Of course we have to do it somehow,” he and his about 60 volunteer helpers and supervisors said, and they started planning right away.

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New tent village for Ukrainians at the youth camp in Wittenborn

A tent village was built in a somewhat remote clearing these days. This means that the Ukrainians can be accommodated on the site in addition to the 138 Segeberg children and young people in the traditional summer holiday camps.

In addition to five group tents, there is also a 100 square meter large common tent set up as a meeting place if the weather is bad. The regional association for youth and cultural work in the Segeberg district (VJKA), sponsor of the youth camp site, paid an advance of 30,000 euros for material, reports VJKA chairman Hauke ​​von Essen.

Ukraine’s children used to warn of missiles

When asked for help with the set-up, all the volunteers at the youth camp answered in unison: “We are in!”

From June 11 to August 31, groups of about 120 children and caregivers will recover from the horrors of war in their home country. Andrea Terschüren, Head of Youth and Education at Kreis Segeberg, promised her support. “We can not even imagine that three rocket alarms a day are completely normal for the kids there.”

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Neumünster takes care of the transport of the Ukrainian children

The residents of Neumünster will ensure transportation to the youth campsite. Every other week, after all, 35 young people aged 14 to 16 will be brought with five guides over the 1,500-kilometer route to Wittenborn and back again.

There are many ideas for the program. Hiking, games – we have experience with that here. But first the young people have to go there. Then they will take their wishes as a starting point, the organizers said.

Ukrainians speak English very well

And the understanding will also work. “Ukrainians speak better English than our young people,” says Dietrich Mohr. In addition, there are also translation features on the mobile phone.

The company is mainly funded by donations: “We hope for public funds, but there are no funding programs for such a thing yet,” says Holger Lück, CEO of VJKA. Politicians like Aminata Touré, a member of the Greens, have, after all, promised their support for raising EU funds.

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