• Special-Purpose “Consignment”

    Just another trip to the east by the City Aid Center team seemed to be as ordinary as any other trip: loading, hitting the road, meeting our military guards half the way from the location, a great team spirit. With the difference that this time, the cargo was of very special value.  We were taking with us presents and toys for the children who live in places on the very border of Ukrainian government controlled areas and so-called ‘DNR’. These children would rather play toys, play soccer, and ride bikes, but today they are living a completely different life. They have to hide from shillings in their basements, live in rooms with windows boarded up with plywood, sometimes without power, water and other earthly goods. It is the war that has brought about the calamities and hardship.

    Due to vast destructions, few schools still function in a little town of Krasnohorovka now, with the process being often interrupted, due to a danger of shelling. The principal and the faculty of one of the schools we meet are true patriots and professionals. We have seen how much they are devoted to children, committed to teaching them and making children’s lives as happier as they could.

    By the time of our arrival, a lot of children gathered on the square. Many came with their parents. Volunteers – members of our team, managed to create a joyful atmosphere, making both children, and adults smile. Everybody liked the program and special attention, and everybody seemed to forget for a moment that just several kilometers away from us there was a front line. In the end, all children got some goodies, presents, and bread.  We noticed that many of them took bread with craving and started to eat it right away.

    In every trip, there are moments that remain in our memory forever – not only good times we like to remember – but also the things that make our hearts moved and our eyes welled up with tears. This time it was no exception. We drove through the outskirts of the town, stopping now and then to give out gift boxes to kids, while we saw a girl of 12 or 14. IMG_7669 (Medium)We stopped and one of the accompanying military men asked her through the window, whether she wanted to get a box of presents. The girl’s answer shocked us – she replied with “no”. Her eyes were full of fear, she got scared and started to retreat from our van, and in a moment, she seemed to be ready to run away. Having seen this, we got out of the van. When she saw us – civilians, just young people – and after we started to talk to her, her face began to change, sharing a wonderful smile. We gave her a gift box and then she realized that the military men were the soldiers of Ukrainian Army. Then, something happened – something that made the military men grow pale and blush, which after they had to rethink what was going on!
    The child turned to the colonel and looking straight into his eyes, asked – ‘You are not going to leave us, aren’t you? You won’t surrender the town, right?  You won’t abandon us, won’t you?’… This made us inwardly shrink. After a moment of confusion, the colonel answered to the girl – ‘No, we are not leaving, we stay with you’. Off we went, but she was still waving after, watching our van leaving. This is the story of a girl from Krasnohorovka, who lives in a couple of miles from Donetsk airport.
    Children – their faces speak volumes. Even when we grow tired, we look at these children and we realize –WE MUST GO!