2014 Grant Recipient - Bridge of Hope

From June 14th-18th, thirty kids aged 6-17 (20 with disabilities and 10 without) participated in a summer day camp. The group was split into three teams. Each team had different colored t-shirts for the duration of the camp (purple, white, and blue). Four student volunteers participated as well as three Peace Corps volunteers, as well as several volunteers for the Luys Foundation Yerevan who assisted in doing a few seminars. The children started each day at 10 a.m. outside with morning exercises and dancing, followed by art classes and interactive seminars and activities about healthy living until 5 p.m.. Two to three classes ran simultaneously and kids were in groups of 10 to 15. The smaller team environment allowed kids to make friends and overcome their shyness. Throughout the five days all thirty kids came on time without fail (save one who was sick one day). Kids without physical disabilities went out of their way to wheel the kids in wheelchairs from class to class, and to come up with creative ways of involving them in the sports games. For example, one boy decided to give up his free time playing dodgeball in order to hold a hula hoop so that his friend in a wheelchair could throw the ball through the hoop. The final day consisted of seminars and classes culminating in a final presentation for parents. Bridge of Hope staff put together a slideshow set to music and invited the parents (all mothers) for coffee and a conversation of the progress their children made in one short week. The mothers were truly touched and grateful.