Childhood is… How would you complete this phrase? The tenderest of times, full of love and care, the happiest page of life, the loveliest memories, when all the colors are bright, and the fairy tale is within arm’s reach… The word “war” has no place in this description, right? The words “childhood” and “war” are really hard to see together, even simply in a sentence. It would be amazing if no child in the world knew this terrible word…
Vision and mood
The war came while they were sleeping. It invaded their lives when they were getting ready to go to school in the morning, and had to hide in the basements instead… The war tried to steal their childhood and left them with scars that need to be healed with love and care.
Step 1. Medicine against the war
“When I saw a rather unusual request for help in organizing a holiday for children who had lived in the occupied territory for more than a month, I understood at once that this holiday had to happen, and the children should be helped!” the Goodacity volunteer Oksana says.
“It is true that many other fronts need our assistance now, but I wish you could see those eyes — the eyes of children who have known war… We cannot let war steal their childhood!”.
The village of Petrushyn in the Chernihiv region was under Russian occupation for over a month.
“Everything happened so quickly, we were shocked, scared and confused, and, like most people of the village, did not have time to leave,” Natalya says, a resident of the village.
“We were hiding in the basements from the shelling, and already on February 26, Russian tanks entered the village…
We lived this most terrible month of our lives under occupation. Both the village and its inhabitants suffered a lot, and it was also incredibly difficult for the children.
Many of them are still afraid to go outside their own yard, they experienced such shock and stress… When our military entered the village at the end of March, we cried with joy, seeing yellow and blue flags! The village is still healing the scars from the war: shattered houses, wounded people, children who shudder at every loud sound… Our children do not play mock battles, as the memories of the horrors of the real war that they have had to experience, are too fresh and terrible…”
“I am the mother of a ten-year-old daughter myself, and I understand how important it is for children not to be in a constant state of anxiety and stress these days but to be distracted with positive emotions. These emotions are like “medicine against the war” for kids!
Therefore, I talked to my fellow villagers who supported me and decided that it would be good to make a holiday for the children, but, unfortunately, we did not have money for this as the occupation and the war took away all resources… I’m grateful to the good people from the Goodacity for their assistance with organizing this holiday! Seeing how children’s faces light up, how they shine with smiles, how they happily and carelessly hop around with joy is priceless!”.
Step 2. Childhood is now!
In the last days of August, a holiday for more than fifty children from the village was held by the village club, in compliance with all safety requirements! A celebration of childhood, a holiday of children’s smiles and sparks of joy in the eyes… The children were singing and dancing together with the animators, had their faces painted, watched an incredible soap-bubble show, treated themselves to goodies and wrote postcards with kind words to their friends and relatives, and to our soldiers.
Many adults of the village came to watch the sincere joy of the kids, and many did not hold back tears of tender emotion looking at their happy smiles, warm hugs, and happiness… Adults rejoiced at children’s joy!
They experienced some of the most difficult days in the entire nation’s life, but nevertheless both adults and children were able to take their minds off sad things and enjoy having a good time!
“Chernihiv region is not calm, it is still shelled, we still spend nights in the basements, more than one,” Ms. Natalya says. “Children study online for safety reasons, so they really appreciate the opportunity to get together to play and have fun; for them, the chance to forget about the war even for a while, to get back to a real carefree childhood is priceless. What is more valuable than seeing children’s smiles? And it becomes possible with the support of dedicated volunteers even in such a difficult time.”
Time to sum it up
Yellow and blue postcards saying, “Thank you for protecting us!” in moving and painstakingly performed kids’ writing. More than fifty such postcards with wishes and words of gratitude from the children of Petrushyn went to our military. They protect the future of our children, and we all work together to give them sincere smiles and bits of happiness in present time!
You can afford yourself the luxury of goodness!
Doing good is very simple!
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