Door en voor mensen met een visuele beperking en hun omgeving
Of and for visual impaired people and their social environment

Russia: about integration and not only

«Our House» - integration summer camp

Julia Kazhevina - the director of camp tells. In 1991 Children's camp «Our House» had been organized by the Russian society of Janush Korchak. The camp purpose is the integration of children with special needs and healthy.

This year the camp has been organized in the Rostov region on the bank of Azov sea. There have arrived 110 children of the age 7 - 18 years from Russia, Tatarstan, Holland, 10 of them were visually impairment children.

Preschool visually impairment children have perfectly joined children's collective, became favourites of all camp. Children have learned to do that never did: for example, not to be afraid some water and even to jump in a pool, went boating, amused in an aquapark, have learned to argue and be on friendly terms.

Tanja Titova - mum of 7-year-old twins - shares the impressions. It was a real discover for me this summer. I have two sons 7 years old – a twin. One of them is blind with some peculiarities. I think toe numerate it will take a time – just note I always think that holidays without parents is to be possible for him after 16-18 years. But this spring I received information that there is a special camp. Nearly a week I was just getting ready to call to discuss a possibility. And then it happened the event I couldn’t believe till last moment. I was asked a bout my children in detail and then… received a positive decision. And my sons went to the camp.

Children called me almost every day. But it seems to me not because of missing me so hard but they liked a fact of new life quality – to call to parents having their own phone and to talk about themselves and events around. They called me with a problem only one time – being scared when a storm. All another questions and problems my 7 years children decided without me involving camp leaders when necessary. So it was very important lesson for the first steps on the way of getting adult and ability to know the world without parents.

My children came back very happy and satisfied. And are always asking me when they go there again. I am very glad that this summer I decided to venture on a very bold (and very important) step for me. I was very surprised many times when was preparing for our journey. I was surprised with a young age of camp leaders and their devotion to the camp. I was surprised with an arrangement. All my questions were answered in detail and every answer showed very attentive and creative approach. And I was in worry about many things – from psychological and physiological aspects of adaptation process to sanitary and hygienic organization. Everything was being thought over. Even a travel by second-class train I was worried about is not so terrible. There were many people on the platform and many children. It was horrible Moscow heat of this summer! But… I do not remember a bustle usual for such situations.

There is a feeling that the work of people in the camp makes there life. And probably the most important thing is – for the first time I forgot that my blind child is a disabled person. There were many places before where he met very tender treatment and care. As an unhappy blind boy. But here it seems to me I felt a real process of inclusion. The inclusion we are talking about so much in Russia now. But the inclusion I never met even a hint of in different child educational institutions.

So I would like to believe so hard that the camp “Our home” will be existing for a long time. And many children will be able to understand many important things for their future life.

Julia Kazhevina and

Tanja Titova


foto ICEVI