This July, the first 12 children aged 8-15 years from Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih and Kamianske had the opportunity to recuperate at the summer camp, including two children with hearing and speech impairments.
“It was a wonderful experience. At camp, the Ukrainian children looked happy and calm. They were ready to work hard and learn to row. The moms were also happy, because their children enjoyed pleasant moments despite the difficulties they have faced since the beginning of the war,” Carola Moro, the camp coordinator, said.
In addition to the opportunity to try different sports such as rowing and football, the children also had the opportunity to chat with Italian children.
“My daughter doesn’t want to stay in Italy, she wants to return home, to Ukraine. She really liked the camp. While my daughter hasn’t played sport before, she really had a good time there. She especially liked that after rowing she could swim. And what is more, my daughter also found a new friend there. It was very nice to see my daughter in a good mood,” Marina, mother of 12-year-old Arina said.
The Saving Lives initiative arranged with the organisers of the summer camp to provide spaces for Ukrainian children currently living in Genova free of charge.
“Metinvest takes care of children affected by the war not only in Ukraine, but also in other regions where the company operates. Italians are among the greatest friends of Ukrainians. We always feel their support. I thank our Italian partners for their responsiveness and care. The sport camp is a great opportunity for children to try something new, get a change of pace and make vivid impressions,” Tetiana Petruk, Director of Sustainable Development and People Management of Metinvest Group, said.
Metinvest created the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For more than 15 months of the full-scale war, the project has helped almost 500,000 people in 70 local communities. Ukrainians have received more than 4,200 tonnes of foodstuffs and hygiene products, and hospitals have received medicines, consumables and equipment worth EUR250,000.
Nearly 200 companies from around the world, 400 volunteers, and 10 foundations and public organisations have joined the project. In a little more than a year since it started operating, the initiative has received more than EUR2.7 million in assistance from donors.
Saving Lives focuses primarily on providing prosthetics and rehabilitation for injured military servicepeople and civilians, as well as psychological support for women and children impacted by the war.