A positive decision from Reka Holiday Aid triggers an outburst of joy! The answer as to whether Gabriela Wenger and her family can go on a Reka Holiday arrives sometime around Christmas. “For us, it’s a wonderful present when our request is accepted. Otherwise we couldn’t afford holidays.” The Wenger family includes the parents and their eleven children. The youngest is 6 and the oldest 26.
The whole family lives in the same house, with seven bedrooms and two bathrooms. For both parents and children it’s difficult to find a quiet corner for some privacy. Everyday life takes on impressive proportions when Gabriela loads her washing machine 14 times a week and cooks daily for 13 – she also has all the animals to look after: dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, tortoises and chickens. She has to memorize eleven timetables plus lots of different hobby fixtures and runs her children to training sessions and appointments in the family van.
Most of the time, four or five of the children’s friends come round to see them, and one of the young guests almost always sleeps over. “But that’s great!“ enthuses the mother of such a big family. The Wengers’ home is full of warmth, vitality and close-knit proximity. “But of course it’s pretty chaotic at times. I’m always dusting, washing, cooking, tidying, going shopping and doing paperwork.”
But on holiday the family can enjoy being able to devote time just to being together. This is when the children fix the programme themselves. “It’s simply amazing to get away from home for a week”, says Gabriela. “For once I can just close the door, leave and say I’m off!” For once as well she appreciates the luxury of some days off when she doesn’t have to do all the chores that fill her normal working day from early morning to midnight. “At last we can do something together. Above all, the children can take each day as it comes and play to their hearts’ content. At home they always have work to do, too. Between school and lessons, homework and sport, they don’t have much time for themselves.”
The Wengers cannot afford winter sports holidays, but when they do, all enjoy a week together every other year in summer, they look forward to the welcome break and the change. Children can benefit from Reka Holiday Aid until they are 16 so eight members of the family travelled to Ticino in 2019 with Reka Holiday Aid while the older children spent their holidays at home. “It was wonderful”, says Mrs Wenger. “We are not asking for anything, so it is simply amazing that Reka Holiday Aid makes all of this possible for us.”
Previously, the family spent a week’s holiday in Reka Villages in Urnäsch, Morschach, Disentis and Lenk. In addition to the fabulous swimming pool in Morschach, the girls loved horse-riding and the boys couldn’t get enough of the go-kart track. The big hit for everybody in Urnäsch was the small pets’ stable and the stroking zoo. In Disentis the children spent ages digging for gold and when they had enough they splashed around at the extensive water-fun park! In Lenk there were lots of hiking trails to discover and a fantastic traffic park. Reka holidays enable children to swim in an indoor pool every day and there’s always time for the outdoor playground, a rousing game of table tennis and even to get just the right book out of the library.
The Wenger family still have very vivid memories of their week’s holiday every two years. They love the simple, relaxed days when they can get up late and when the children can get a chance to do something with their parents, like taking a boat trip or observing birds of prey, for example. For once, they can let go of their bustling everyday routine. Everyone, including Gabriela Wenger, who loves her busy days, is so grateful for these free, unplanned hours!
Reka Holidays are the highlight for the whole family. For Monika Roth* and her two little boys and a daughter of school age, they are really the only possibility to go on holiday at all. “Otherwise it would be far too expensive for us”, says the single mother. “Of course, I never say to the children that we’re poor. On the contrary, I simply try to lead a normal family life.”read more
A positive decision from Reka Holiday Aid triggers an outburst of joy! The answer as to whether Gabriela Wenger and her family can go on a Reka Holiday arrives sometime around Christmas. “For us, it’s a wonderful present when our request is accepted. Otherwise we couldn’t afford holidays.” The Wenger family includes the parents and their eleven children. The youngest is 6 and the oldest 26.read more
A week at a holiday camp in Switzerland: for many children this would naturally be part of their holiday experience. But for girls and boys with autism it’s a different story. Their dream of spending a whole week playing with other children is all too often unfulfilled. They are unable to properly process the many new sensations, hectic hustle and bustle and unexpected changes so often encountered in a holiday camp situation. This is why the ‘autismus deutsche schweiz’ association organizes holiday camps for children with autism in an environment adapted to their needs and where the Reka Foundation for Holiday Aid makes a significant contribution.read more