Celebrating the last moments of summer – a picnic for Ukrainian children
At the Humanitarian Aid Center for Ukrainians in Naujininkai, Vilnius, we bid goodbye to summer in the final days of August. On August 30, a picnic called “Bye, Summer!” was held for Ukrainian children. Families and the entire Vilnius community, which supports Ukraine, were encouraged to take part in a variety of artistic and creative programs. Children were also able to visit education pavilions, attend open air cinema, see circus and music performances.
The picnic was opened with the words of welcome from the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency representative in Lithuania Renata Kuleš, Arts Agency Artscape director Aistė Ulubey and the director of “Save the Children Lithuania” organization Rasa Dičpetrienė.
Children and families who attended the picnic had the chance to take part in free artistic activities featuring modern circus performed by “Artscape” educators and partners; jam out during a musical improvisation session; and visit the Space of Emotions. Visitors could also try their hand at 3D drawing at the “Fun Gingerbread Men” program or meet the jugglers and circus performers. Attendees got the chance to learn about safe Internet use, how to administer first aid, and much more in the pavilions set up by partners. The Vilnius International Film Festival provided an outdoor screening of “A Dragon and a Freckled Beauty” as part of the celebrations.
Children and families are welcomed at the Humanitarian Aid Center for Ukrainians in Žvėrynas everyday; over 300 kids have visited the center weekly in the past six months. The center invites people escaping the crisis in Ukraine to participate in volunteer-led activities, creative and artistic workshops, meetings, lessons, and educations. It also offers daily psychosocial and humanitarian relief. Here, “Artscape” also conducts its artistic education programs and plans “creative missions” for girls and women in the arts, dance, and Applied theater.
The willingness to welcome fall and create a good time in the process united organizations from the NGO, social and business fields: Arts Agency Artscape; UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency; Help center “Vaikų linija”, Business machine company “MBK”; Lithuanian Red Cross; association “Langas į ateitį”, safer internet project “Draugiškas internetas” and the public organization “Save the Children Lithuania”. We thank our partners and are looking forward to saying “Goodbye” to much more summer in the future!
Photos by Alda Eikevičiūtė