Hope For Ukraine, in collaboration with the Hope Ukraine Foundation in Italy, is delighted to announce a partnership with three professional Italian soccer clubs – Spezia Calcio, AC Milan, and Genoa FC. This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide 60 Ukrainian refugee children with a unique and therapeutic opportunity to partake in a week-long soccer camp this summer.
These children, many of whom have escaped the devastating impacts of war in Ukraine, are currently residing in Italy under the care of single mothers or dedicated caregivers. By participating in this soccer camp, the children get a chance to engage in sportsmanship, camaraderie, and most importantly, a momentary escape from the trauma they have experienced.
Among these children is Sasha, a 13-year-old boy with an extraordinary story of resilience and courage. As the war in Ukraine escalated, Sasha and his grandmother were forced to seek refuge in a basement for three months to avoid detection by Russian soldiers. Miraculously, they were able to escape their hometown of Nova Kakhovka and find safety in Italy.
For Sasha, like many of his peers, resettling in a new country and grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been an immense challenge. However, this one week of soccer camp has brought him immense joy, acting as a beacon of hope in his challenging journey. “It’s a dream come true,” says Sasha, whose story stands testament to the transformative power of sport in providing solace and strength in the face of adversity.
The partnership with Spezia Calcio, AC Milan, and Genoa FC has provided these refugee children, particularly those like Sasha, with a powerful platform for healing and personal growth. These football clubs, known for their legendary prowess on the field, are demonstrating a commendable commitment to social responsibility off the field as well.
“We are immensely grateful for the willingness of Spezia Calcio, AC Milan, and Genoa FC to partner with us on this initiative,” says a spokesperson from Hope For Ukraine and Hope Ukraine Foundation in Italy. “This camp is more than just a game of soccer; it’s a symbol of hope and resilience for these children. It’s a chance for them to experience joy and normalcy amidst unimaginable hardship. We believe it’s our collective responsibility to provide such opportunities.”
By sharing Sasha’s story, Hope For Ukraine and the Hope Ukraine Foundation in Italy aspire to shed light on the heart-wrenching struggles and remarkable resilience of these young refugees. They hope that initiatives like this summer soccer camp will encourage more organizations and individuals to extend their support and help in creating a brighter future for these children.
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