We are proud to share a segment of the beautiful photo story by roaming New Zealand photographer; Jamie Bowering. Last year Jamie visited Russia with his wife Yulia to volunteer and subsequently capture the CCP summer camp for children with special educational needs and their families.
Jamie has an exceptional ability to capture every day activity and make it magical – we have covered more of his work here on Studio Home.
Below Jamie introduces the Center for Curative Pedagogics (CCP) and his experience.
“The Centre for Curative Pedagogics (based in Moscow, founded 1989) aims to implement the right of access to education, rehabilitation, and a worthy life for those special needs. Since the CCP’s establishment they have worked and positively effected the lives of over 9000 children and their families. All the Center’s activities are aimed to help every special needs child find their way in their life — from diagnosing and early intervention to getting a profession and integration into society.
The CCP organises summer camps for children with special educational needs and their families as well as staff and volunteers and their families at Lake Valdai, located in the center of Valdaysky District of Novgorod Oblast, 400km NW of Moscow. My wife Yulia had been volunteering at the center for a number of years and I joined her during a summer spent in Moscow. Everyone lives in tents and use a large building block that includes kitchens, classrooms and a bathroom, hosting groups of children and their families for 10 day periods over the summer months.
Life in the camp looks like any typical camping holiday and includes tramping, sports activities, swimming, art and crafts, music, theatre, guitar playing and singing around a campfire in the evenings – general relaxing which is a much needed respite from the hectic Moscow city life. Volunteers and staff build up reciprocal therapeutic relationships for successful rehabilitation in an environment of lakes, rivers, pine forests filled with birds, wild berries and mushrooms, a very classic Russian setting. The atmosphere of love and acceptance was my main experience during that time. I managed to build several friendships despite my poor use of the Russian language.
What the organisation does for children with special educational needs and their families is hugely important as the children are more likely to be ostracised or institutionalised in Russia.”