Kozyn, Kyiv region, July 27 - The Child's Health Centre "Dnipro" hosted the opening ceremony of GoCamp East—an innovative English camp for students from schools located near the line of conflict in the Donbas.
Students, teachers and foreign volunteers who are taking part in GoCamp East attended the event. Among the special guests were the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Ukraine Judith Gough, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Roman Hreba, the Director of the British Council in Ukraine Simon Williams, the Director of Global Office NGO Oksana Nechyporenko and Mustafa Nayyem, the MP and co-founder of Global Office NGO.
"This year Global Office has organized GoCamp East for the second time. This project is an integral part of our activities. Unfortunately, due to security issues we cannot entirely ensure the safe organisation of the GoCamp project in schools located close to the frontline. So, GoCamp East is currently the format that enables schools in Donetsk and Luhansk region to have access to the innovative methodology of teaching English, while children and teachers get a chance to communicate with foreign volunteers and discover different world cultures",—Mustafa Nayyem said.
This year GoCamp East takes place at the premises of the Child's Health Centre "Dnipro" during July and August. In total, 600 children from 24 schools in Donetsk and Luhansk regions will take part in the camp. During the camp, teachers from these schools and foreign volunteers will work with the children—teaching them English, critical thinking, tolerance, the basics of civic education and healthy lifestyles.
"During this summer volunteers from 18 countries around the world will take part in GoCamp East. They wanted to work with children from the East of Ukraine, being convinced that all kids should have equal access to qualitative education. We believe that communication with foreigners, learning new cultures and getting important skills will help these students understand that there are no barriers and that they can achieve whatever they want to",—Director of Global Office Oksana Nechyporenko says.
In 2017, the British Embassy in Ukraine and the British Council in Ukraine have become the main supporters of GoCamp East. The British Ambassador Judith Goughwas the first foreign diplomat to join the GoCamp project as a volunteer, encouraging representatives of other embassies to support this project.
"It is very important that young Ukrainians get the chance to meet and learn with people from other countries, and with their peers from other parts of Ukraine, to understand how different – but also how similar – other communities and countries are. GoCamp East provides a wonderful opportunity for this to happen, and I am proud to be able to play my part in volunteering”—said British Ambassador Judith Gough.
GoCamp East was also supported by Ukrainians working at the London office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Together with the charitable organization Ukraine Charity, they have organized a fundraising campaign which gathered donations from 129 supporters.
During GoCamp East, students from the East of Ukraine will have the chance to communicate with their peers from different parts of Ukraine: 600 children from other regions of the country will also participate in GoCamp.
"It is very important that schoolchildren gain access to modern methodologies of foreign language learning through projects such as GoCamp East. So, teachers can give their students not only knowledge but also the necessary competences, and the younger generation can use all the opportunities offered by modern life",—Deputy Minister of Education Roman Hreba noted.
The GoCamp East programme is tailored according to the GoCamp format, in which interactive methodology is combined with the practical engagement of students, as well as the involvement of a foreign volunteer. Teachers provide the educational component, while the foreign volunteers become mentors for the students and help them solve problems, encourage critical thinking and look for answers to challenging questions.
“Learning English through the kind of informal activities included in the GoCamp East programme, as well as through classroom-based studies, is a great way to improve your English”, said Simon Williams, British Council Director. “We have collaborated with Global Office this year to share the British Council’s world-wide expertise on running safe and high-quality educational events for children”.
GoCamp East was initiated by the Global Office NGO in 2016. Last year the summer camp in the Kyiv region involved more than 300 children from the war-affected territories. GoCamp East is part of the nationwide summer camp project GoCamp, which was held in June 2017 all over Ukraine.