YANA PANKEEVA, ODESSA
My first camp took place in august 2007. I was 21. Insecure, diligent, a little timid girl. I already had some experience working with wheelchairers during basketball tournaments. I studies building and engineering and had nothing to do with rehabilitation. But something touched me in these camps. I felt I also needed rehabilitation. Not physical, but emotional, psychological. I had to learn how to communicate with people, to cope with difficulties, to take decisions. In some moments you had to manage to support and listen. In the camp some people helped me to overcome my complexes; some were not afraid to point out my mistakes and help me correct them; some did not give me this chance. It was not all smooth. Sometimes I felt discouraged, wanted to give it all up, my expectations were not met. And no one explained why…
But this CAR sparkle which had settled in my soul, already turned into fire. Turning away and leaving was already impossible.
I wasn’t perfect. But there were “activists”, who helped to deal with my emotions, ambitions, qualities. They found a key to me. Helped me to mature. Today I realize that this feeling of being taken care of is priceless.
Very often I was asked why I was doing this. “You are not paid for it” – they said. Back then, being young, I tried to find excuses: like, I am doing a good thing, and money is not the most important to me. It was hard to say the truth: in the camps of active rehabilitation I revived.
My last camp happened in September 2009. I left. Far away. With pain in my heart. Recently I have been living in Greece. There are opportunities to work in similar camps, but I feel that this is not appropriate anymore. Back then, when I needed the camp, it appeared in my life. Corrected me, cured me and let me go on into life.
Everyone finds in CAR what he lacks. Don’t lie to yourself when you say “I am going there to help people” or “I am going there to gain experience”. In reality you don’t know yet what are you going for and you will only discover it, when you go through it from beginning till the end.