Stiftung Die Brücke zum Leben

Freizeit- und Erholungszentrum Yrpen

Recreation and Leisure Centre for Children in Yrpen

This recreation and leisure centre is located approximately ten kilometres away from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. A complex in green surroundings and set in about seven hectares of land, it offers plenty of opportunity for leisure activities. The purpose is similar to that of the centre at Baba Novac in Romania.

The kitchen, dining room and social areas originally offered space for around 200 visitors, but there were only enough sleeping accommodations for 100 people. The site used to have two dilapidated timber buildings, and so the Foundation decided to demolish these to replace them with two new buildings. These offer an additional 100 beds, enabling the recreation centre to be used much more effectively.

The grounds have the potential for even more opportunities to expand the childcare and youth work, which is taken into account when planning the Foundation’s future projects.

In the early months of 2013 Ukraine was surprised by an unusual volume of snow and extreme cold. Work on the recreation and leisure centre had to be “frozen” for a while. But no sooner had temperatures risen than the work continued apace.

Building #3 of the centre is fully accessible for the disabled, with appropriately adapted rooms and sanitary facilities. Caretakers are able to stay in the same room, so that disabled children have access to care even in the night. Volunteers from Germany sewed all the curtains and brought them to the site themselves.

With the addition of Building #4, the centre near Kiev now offers over 200 beds. The first Chairman, Grigory Komendant, expressed his thanks on behalf of the many children and young people who now have an outstanding opportunity to escape from their everyday lives and develop physically and emotionally.

“Even when we still had a way to go, several groups had already booked a stay at the centre,” says Michael Atamansky, the centre’s leader. “So we had to get a move on. Now the centre is a wonderful place for many children and young people in need to come and stay, as we now have plenty of sleeping capacity, social rooms and all kinds of leisure activities on offer.”

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