One of the most popular projects of the “Help Ukrainians” association is the sports program. It allows Ukrainian kids of different ages to showcase their talents, take their mind off problems at school and give their eyes a break from extended sessions of gaming in the virtual world. The sports project helps Ukrainian children cope with stress, take a break from the challenges of life away from home, and simply feel like kids again.
The most important thing in this project is the opportunity for our kids to make friends with each other and with their peers from Romania. Through this interaction, our children effortlessly pick up the Romanian language without grueling language courses. Joint sports games make the kids more open. Even though the games don’t last long, the friendships formed during them can last a lifetime!
To create a friendly sports atmosphere, it’s important not only to have a professional coach but also the openness and motivation of the kids themselves. To support the children and Romanian coaches, who may not speak Ukrainian, we brought in a wonderful person for the project – Julia Yemelyanenko. Before the war in Ukraine, Julia worked on staff training in marketing and sales, organizing workshops to unite a large team around a common goal. Now she successfully applies her experience to motivate Ukrainian children. Through her support, she helps them not lose the meaning of life, never feel down, and never give up.
Julia excels at being a great social worker and has a keen sense of the children’s moods. She helps facilitate communication between the coach and each individual child: translating the coach’s wishes from Romanian, enveloping each child with kindness and warmth, recognizing and praising progress, encouraging and comforting in case of temporary setbacks. In the association’s team, they joke that Julia has discovered a new talent and can work as a children’s coach!
Research shows that children’s motivation largely depends on recognition and praise. That was the initial idea behind Julia’s role in this project.
“In my work, the most important thing for me is to find a sport that a child enjoys, help them integrate into the Romanian atmosphere, unlock their potential, instill belief in their abilities, motivate, teach teamwork, divert the child’s attention from their problems, assist in recognizing psychological difficulties in children, collaborate with parents to provide support, and, of course, praise the children – because they really need it today!” says Julia.
Her kindness and the maintenance of a friendly atmosphere in the sports sections for children are what Julia does wonderfully, and the children, in turn, respond with their love and joy in their eyes. For the sake of this childlike happiness and sincere smiles, the association continues its various creative projects!