On 23 December, our UWCF team greeted the day at the platform of Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi Railway Station. On that day, we were waiting for a particularly important train – the one that brought little visitors from Avdiivka to the capital.
Earlier, United World Cultures Foundation organized the children’s drawing contest “Drawing My Dream” among students of Avdiivka’s schools No. 1 and No. 6. Out of several dozens of contestants, we selected 10 winners whose drawings were the most impressive – and invited them to come visit us. As an award for their efforts, we arranged an exciting tour around the capital city and of course prepared some presents for them.
Comfortable Hyundai cars picked up the children from the central railway station – the cars were kindly provided by Edem Auto Ukraine to help the young guests move around the city with more ease on that rainy winter day. After a hearty breakfast, the long-awaited tour started. The first stop on the way was Mariyinsky Park. The kids enjoyed taking photos near the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Mariyinsky Palace, and kept wondering if the President was going to come and greet them. Despite any absence of snow, the mood was truly festive.
The next stop on the tour was the Ukrainian Government Building – the seat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. We would like to thank Volodymyr Tatarenko for the exciting and informative tour to the museum, a maze of corridors, conference rooms, the press centre, as well as the chance for the kids to feel like real ministers at a governmental briefing.
“Please, do not take the Prime Minister’s seat”, said Volodymyr while we were surveying the conference room, “because as the experience shows, no one wants to vacate it afterwards”. However, the children had their own plans for a governmental career: most kids wanted to become ministers of culture or entertainment.
After that visit, the children continued their tour to see Kyiv’s Christmas trees: first the one near the Peoples’ Friendship Arch, and then the one at Sophia Square. By the way, at the first location, we made a short video together with the kids that has been later included in the UWCF Christmas Greetings (available here), and near the country’s most important Christmas tree we recorded verses recited by three young beauties. These videos are available on our YouTube channel, in the section #дітичитають (“children recite”).
Yet, as it turned out, the audience choice award of the day went to a McDonald’s meal. “We don’t have anything like that back home, the food is tasty and the toys are really cool”, shared the kids. Well, a meal can be a good fun too! And Happy Meal takeaways are a must for the return trip.
The next stop was the Edem Auto office where we had prepared the award ceremony and a sweet buffet for the children. The winning drawings were hanging for a long time in the Hyundai’s showroom so that as many visitors as possible could see them and discover the world through the eyes of the 7 to 13 aged children.
10 winners – 10 young artists – received gifts from UWCF and our partners. Interestingly, most artworks we received from the contestants were about peace. Children do want to stop being scared and live in peace and harmony.
That was a long day, and when it was time to say goodbye, our little guests didn’t want to leave. “Goodbye Kyiv! I will come back!” – with these words, the kids got on the train home.
They indeed will come back here. And we will look forward to their visit!
We would like to give our special thanks to:
Edem Auto, Hyundai’s official distributor in Ukraine
State Enterprise “Garant-Service” of the State Administration for Maintenance of Official Events
Mr Volodymyr Tatarenko and the Museum of History of Ukrainian Governments
volunteer tour guides Bohdan Volkovynskyi and Maryna Serkhovets
volunteer photographers Anastasiya Kanaylo, Bohdan Bushlia and Maksym Zhukovskyi
volunteer videographer Danylo Kinzera