Conferences and Trainings
Training for Volunteers (September 18-21, 2013)
Terry Dignan, a Leading Expert with the International SeriousFun Children’s Network, led a training for 34 volunteers who came for the sixth rehabilitation programme. Why is it important to participate in our training? To work with children at our rehabilitation programmes a volunteer needs to be specially prepared. Our training is a short seminar on the programme of social and psychological rehabilitation of children who suffered serious diseases.
Terry described to the volunteers the concept of the therapeutic recreation of children who suffered serious diseases and the importance of it. He also told them about the history of rehabilitation camps, Paul Newman, and Sheredar development plans. Training seminars came along with active gaming that was also educational.
Training for Volunteers (April 2-5, 2013)
A training for volunteers conducted by Sheredar took place on the 2-5 April 2013. The volunteers came to Sheredar from many different cities: Moscow, Vladimir, Kursk, Bryansk, Astrakhan, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, and Budapest. We received more than 100 questionnaires answered by those who wanted to work with children at our April programme in Sosnovy Bor village. We invited 43 volunteers to take part in the training led by Terry Dignan, a Leading Expert with the International SeriousFun Children’s Network. There were 38 volunteers selected to work at the rehabilitation programme.
To work with children one needs to be understanding, sympathetic, loving, on one side, and to have a special training, on the other side. During the training the volunteers discussed the psychological problems that can arise at the rehabilitation programme and the ways to solve those problems. Everyone who wants to be a volunteer and work with a child who suffered a serious disease, should be ready to answer every question (even if it is a question about death), to know how to support a child and help her/him in a difficult situation.
We are pleased to note that some volunteers came to the training and Sheredar rehabilitation programmes not for the first time. Thanks to their earlier experience they are not just young people who want to help, but really professional volunteers!
Training Workshop (March 25-27, 2013)
A training workshop dedicated to the immediate issues of the rehabilitation of children who suffered oncological diseases was conducted by Sheredar on the 25-27 March 2013. 27 guests from Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk, Samara, Astrakhan, Bryansk, Saint-Petersburg, Minsk, Ufa, Rostov-on-Don, Vladivostok, Irkutsk and other cities came to the Sosnovy Bor village to exchange experience and get advice from the experts in children rehabilitation.
Led by Terry Dignan, a Leading Expert with the International SeriousFun Children’s Network, the training workshop became a place where one not only could exchange experience in the children rehabilitation area, but also receive important skills to work with children. How to design programmes that ensure inclusion and accessibility, and are safe and effective? Why should the children rehabilitation programmes be well-considered? These and other questions were discussed by our guests: children charitable foundations’ representatives, specialists in the children oncology and rehabilitation centers, and other experts in this area.
Dr G. Tseitlin, a Chief of Department of the medical rehabilitation of the Federal Research and Clinical Centre of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Immunology named after D. Rogachev, talked about the psychological and pedagogical aspects of a camp rehabilitation programme. Dr G. Tseitlin explained through the example of the rehabilitation camp “Deti” (“The Children”) how to help children who suffered oncological diseases to overcome negative emotions and low self-esteem, encourage creativity and facilitate social adaptation in school.
According to the participants of the training workshop, the practical exercises were very valuable. To come into kids’ world is a perfect opportunity to see the habitual things from a new point of view, even if it concerns rehabilitation programmes. Terry Dignan says that it important for the grown-ups to try to be kids without fear of being ridiculous. The participants of the workshop exchanged their experience of organisation of gaming activities with kids. We are pleased to note the participants’ easy conversation at seminar and their sincere interest to the seminar topics: all of them are sympathetic people fully devoted to the idea of helping children.
International Conference (November 11 -12, 2012)
The international conference “Reaching beyond illness. An approach to enabling children with serious illness to rediscover childhood” was held on November 11th and 12th 2012 in Sosnovy Bor village, Petushky District, Vladimir Region.
60 participants from Europe, CIS countries and different regions of Russia – international experts, charity foundations’ representatives, oncologists, and volunteers – discussed the questions of rehabilitation of children who suffered oncological diseases.
Dr G. Tseitlin, A Chief of Department of the medical rehabilitation of the Federal Research and Clinical Centre of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Immunology named after D. Rogachev: “About 10 000 children and teens from 0 to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer every year. Thanks to the use of modern technologies for diagnosing and treatment of oncological diseases of children, during the last 20 years from 60% to 100 % of such cases stopped to be fatal and are now considered to be chronic and curable categories.”
Rehabilitation of children who suffered serious diseases is one of the problems that need to be solved in Russia. There are no specialized rehabilitation centres for children in our country. The guests of the conference, the leading experts from Ireland, Germany, Hungary and Russia, shared their experience in rehabilitation programme development.
Dr. Peter Kearney, retired paediatric consultant and Professor Emeritus of Paediatrics at University College Cork in Ireland, shared his experience of working in SeriousFun Children’s Network, an association of camps that was founded by Paul Newman. “For many years I have been working as a paediatrician and I thought that I knew everything about children’s health. However, when I came to Barretstown and saw the changes that happen with children there, I could not believe my own eyes. It was a miracle! Having come to the camp pale and frightened, after several days they go home cheerful and healthier. This visit to Barretstown has changed my life and since then I have been working as a paediatrician volunteer in rehabilitation camps for ten years. I cannot help being surprised by the changes that happen to children over such a small period of time.”
Ms Chris Maier, the Director of Waldpiraten-Camp, the first and only holiday camp for children with cancer in Germany and other German speaking countries, spoke about the rehabilitation programmes in her camp. “We gently encourage children to try their physical and mental abilities and to understand that courage is a cool feeling.” Children like climbing, riding mountain bicycles, etc. They can try some activity in this camp that is not available to many healthy children. They are amazed of their own courage. In the evening the campers share their experiences with each other and with a black little raven Hugo, the talisman of the camp (it is easier to tell one’s secrets to a toy).
“I have noticed that before their visit to Sheredar, parents dominate their children: ‘Do this, don’t forget that!’ However, when parents come to take their child back home, it is s/he who dominates them. Their child became independent and can make her/his own decisions,” narrated Ms Juliska Toth, Programme Director at Bátor Tábor, a camp for children with serious illness in Hungary.
Mr Terry Dignan, a Leading Expert with the International SeriousFun Children’s Network, said: “I travelled round the world, inspecting camps in Israel, Italy, France, Scotland, Great Britain, Germany and Hungary. Now I came to Russia to help you open a rehabilitation camp that would correspond to the high standards of SeriousFun Children Network. Your children will not have to go to another country to participate in a rehabilitation programme”. Mr Terry Dignan also explained his motivation to work in this area: “Business investments are limited. Social investments are boundless. This attracted me. Society can gain a lot with these programmes!”
At the Round Table that took place 12 November guests of the conference discussed the development of rehabilitation programmes in Russia. They exchanged their experience, impressions and ideas about the way to arrange contact with other regions and build rehabilitation camps throughout the vast territory of Russia.
Seminar on Creation in Russia of Rehabilitation Camps for Children Who Suffered Serious Diseases (May 28-29, 2012)
Today the problem of rehabilitation in Russia is mostly considered from medical point of view, however it is also very important for a child to be socially successful. We need to return happy childhood and positive approach to life to such kids; we should raise their self-confidence and improve their social adaptation. It is important to create in Russia as much as possible of such camps where the children could communicate with people of different ages, interests and mindsets.
- To share experiences of organization in Russia of rehabilitation programmes for children who suffered serious diseases.
- To make the society aware of the social rehabilitation for such children.
- To contribute to creation of rehabilitation camps for such children.
The leading experts in the rehabilitation of children who suffered serious diseases took part in the seminar:
- Terry Dignan, a Leading Expert with SeriousFun Children’s Network
- Dr G. Tseitlin, a Doctor of Medical Science and a Chief of Department of the medical rehabilitation of the Federal Research and Clinical Centre of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Immunology named after D. Rogachev
- Michael Bondarev, a founder of Sheredar
- Alena Atlasova, a Director of the Feast of Life Charitable Foundation (the Sakha Republic)
- Representatives of the Administration of Petushky District, Vladimir Region; representatives of Russian non-governmental organizations and specialists of rehabilitation camps for children who suffered serious diseases from Chelyabinsk, Severodvinsk, Rostov-on-Don, and Kurchatov.