Saving Lives helps children of Kryvyi Rih plants deal with traumatic effects of war

This year, Ukrainian children have been rehabilitating from war-related trauma instead of enjoying summer breaks. Under its Strong Generation Camp – Future programme, Metinvest Group invited the employees’ children who have experienced war first-hand to complete psychological rehabilitation programme and recreate in the Carpathian Mountains. 

The programme covers children of the conscripted and relocated Metinvest employees, as well as children who have lost their loved ones in the war. This humanitarian initiative helps the participants cope with emotions and build a strong foundation for the future. It shows that there is still a place for joy, learning and revitalising even in these hard times. 

Metinvest’s Kryvyi Rih enterprises will send 173 children to join the programme and recreate. The venue is one of the best recreational facilities in a marvellous Carpathian location near Lake Synevyr. The programme is filled with various activities such as mountain hikes, trekking to waterfalls and lakes, educational and recreational training courses, art therapy, sessions with trained psychologists, and much more.

Participants of Strong Generation Camp – Future and their parents share impressions of the programme:

Svitlana Matvienko, a servicewoman, former conveyor operator of CGOK factory:

“It’s been a year since I got conscripted. My husband also serves in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, defending our country since the early days of the war. Our son Artem is with his grandparents right now. Of course, it is hard for him, he misses us very much and can’t wait until the whole family reunites. I can visit my son from time to time, but Artem hasn’t seen his father ever since he got conscripted. A nine-year-old boy has to grow up extremely quickly. Thus, we were very excited about the opportunity to participate in a programme for children’s recreation and psychological rehabilitation. When I got a call from work inviting Artem to go to the camp, I felt grateful and hopeful. It’s a great opportunity for a child to get an exciting and useful summer experience, take the mind off emotional pains and struggles, and simply be a child. It was his first trip to the Carpathian Mountains and he loved it, enjoyed fresh healthy air and the scenery. We felt positive changes as Artem had a great time with his peers, talked to a psychologist, went trekking, swam in the pool, and enjoyed beautiful landscapes. It is very important for us as parents that he doesn’t feel lonely and feels supported. I think this opportunity has helped our entire family and not just Artem. We are grateful to Metinvest for this very important initiative.”

Platon Levchenko, 10 years old (mother, Maryna Levchenko, is an employee of the CGOK administration):

“I’ve been to recreation camps before, but I guess this is the best holiday I’ve ever had. I’ve been very worried lately because of the war and my dad’s injury. He is my hero, he joined the army to defend us from the enemy in the first days of the war. He has many awards, even a medal from the President of Ukraine. I get very scared when we hear explosions in the city, it is impossible to endure that. So I was very happy to know that I’d leave Kryvyi Rih, at least for a while. These two weeks passed quickly, but I’ll remember them for a long time. I didn’t even want to come back home, it felt sad to leave the camp. I told all my friends I had a good time in the Carpathians. We had the friendliest team. We all came from different cities and towns, but we still keep in touch and call each other. I liked everything that was going on in the camp. We had many interesting activities, great counsellors, and most importantly, we had quiet and peaceful time. We had a psychologist who taught us to calm down and not to panic. Now I understand that I can deal with fear. This is very good. Thank you for making me forget about the war for a while.”

Anna Fedorchuk, wife of a serviceman Serhii Fedorchuk who was an employee of CGOK before the war:

“Before the war, our dad worked as an operator at the dry magnetic separation department of the crushing plant. He is a well-known campaigner, an honorary donor of Ukraine and a volunteer of the Red Cross. He was one of the first volunteers who went to the military enlistment office at the beginning of the war. He serves as a combat medic training Ukrainian soldiers to provide first aid and evacuating the wounded. My daughters and me are very proud of him and worry about him, so we returned from abroad to support and wait for our dad at home. Of course, the situation in our country is difficult and disturbing for all of us, and the war makes girls grow up quickly. That’s why I’m so pleased that Metinvest takes care not only of employees but also of their children. My elder daughter Milana completed an ad hoc rehabilitation programme. Even though it was her first experience, she keeps talking about the exciting excursions, training courses and master classes with psychologists. She boasted about her works made in art therapy classes. Also, she told us about the delicious bograch, pepperoni pizza and other tasty food they enjoyed in the camp. Everything was organised perfectly, and this support is needed more than ever now.”

Metinvest is set to allocate about UAH 9 million for rehabilitation of young Ukrainians.