Christmas brings about an extraordinary spiritual joy that overwhelms each one of us because this day is special. It is celebrated all over the world, yet every nation puts its own meaning into this holiday. However, the most joyful time it is for children.
In old times, children and teenagers were the first messengers of the Christ’s birth in Christmas customs, they used to go out carolling in groups – singing traditional songs “koliadkas” and “shchedrivkas” – and calling at all homes in their communities. And this brought light to every house and people could feel comfort and relief.
On 7 January 2020, on Christmas Day, with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Taras Shevchenko National Opera of Ukraine hosted the traditional children’s performance “Nativity Play 2020”.
The Metropolitan’s Christmas party for children has been taking place for the seventeenth year running – it was first initiated by late Metropolitan Volodymyr. The festive event was organized for orphans, children from needy families, children with disabilities, and those who could not afford to celebrate the Nativity of Christ. It was attended by more than 1,300 kids from all over Ukraine, including children who live in close vicinity to the “contact line” in the Donbas. The Nativity Play was organized by volunteers of Synodal Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for youth affairs and Charitable Organization “Molodist Ne Bayduzha” (“Caring Youth”).
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy invited girls from the Puhachiv Psychoneurological Treatment and Residential Care Center to attend the Christmas party. This is a facility located in Berezneve village of Korosten District in Zhytomyr Region that takes care of children suffering from mental retardation at the imbecility stage and Down syndrome, of disability groups IІІ-ІV.
The girls were happy to go on this unforgettable trip, touch on the magic of Christmas and plunge into the colourful celebration together with friends – volunteers of detdom.info and the UWCF program “Let's Improve Children's Lives”.
They had an opportunity to listen to old-time folk songs “koliadkas" from different regions of Ukraine, at Sophia Square near the country’s most important Christmas tree, they recited some verses, sang traditional songs and received a lot of presents. The international charitable organization “Kryla” (“Wings”) Volunteer Association and the contest “Mini Miss Kyiver 2019” gave the girls some more gifts – these were for handiwork, and entrepreneur Vitaliy Udovyk presented some fidget spinners.
We would like to thank the young contestants for the tons of presents they gave to our little princesses and express our sincere appreciation to Natalia Kovolyova, owner and organizer of the contests “Mini Miss Kyiver 2019” and “Queen of Ukraine”; contest jury member Oksana Zolotukhina; and each little beauty participating in the contest. Our thanks also go to Yaroslava Tokar, Head of “Kryla” (“Wings”) Volunteer Association.
The Christmas magic continued at the National Opera of Ukraine with the traditional Christmas performance for children “Nativity Play 2020”. Here our young travellers were endowed with more presents and attention from animators who kept encouraging them to various creative workshops, musical performances, and many other interesting activities and locations. The girls sang some Christmas songs for the fairy-tale characters.
The Nativity Play 2020 featured also a musical performance based on a fairy tale. We thank the event’s organizers for the time spent there as it was unforgettable, exciting and enjoyable for the kids – after the concert they received some sweet gifts.
When their visit to the fairyland was over, it was time for our little princesses to have a tasty lunch at the Convent of the Patronage of the Mother of God because they had come a long way.
United World Cultures Foundation would like to address our sincerest thanks to Mother Superior of the Convent of the Patronage of the Mother of God and mothers Fianil, Halyna, Amfisa who welcomed our young travellers and treated them to a delicious meal and herbal tea.
All the kids were really happy as they brought unforgettable impressions, positive emotions and goods cheer from the trip – and memories of that day will stay with them for long.