Island Neverland. Victoria Dini Art

Island Neverland

This is a camp for so called families in crisis. Two weeks in the countryside away from the city. Together as a family. For many families, this experience of camping together is a first.
I volunteer here. I do phototherapy with the children, but mostly I become someone to talk to. Two years, two summers.

These families don’t look any different from anyone on the street, but someone is being beaten here. Some are about to be taken away to an orphanage, or have already been taken away, but have been returned. Some don’t even have money for food. Some of them have never had a childhood and now they don’t know how to be adults, and they don’t know how to give childhood to their children either.

Nature makes life harder — and easier. It gets rid of everything superfluous. It opens hearts. We sleep on the ground in tents, we work together, we share food, we breathe so close. 24/7 we are there for each other. We talk. I come back with a lot of hard stories — and love. Whatever 'crisis' or 'normal' family we come from, everyone’s greatest desire is to touch. To feel. To be close. To be heard. And to be loved.

The last day of camp for crisis families. Danya says good-bye to me.
Jenya tries to stay calm being bited by insects. Camp two.
Someone is catched. Someone is a catcher.
Senya and Tanya are not going to stop fighting. Or flirting. Or both.
Looks like it’s Stas. Hiding in the woods. If I wait, he’ll come.

And “no man is an island,
Entire of itself”.