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First Steps in the Children of Avdiyivka Charity Program

On 13 October 2016, UWCF team members Ilona Knyshuk and Olena Kobets made their first visit to the city of Avdiyivka, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, under the Children of Avdiyivka Charity Program to hand over charity aid to public institutions dealing with local kids.

The Children of Avdiyivka Charity Program has been initiated by United World Cultures Foundation to provide support to children’s institutions of Avdiyivka and directly to children living in the city, where since 2014 combat operations have been taking place. The distance between Avdiyivka and Donetsk makes only 6 km, but the nearest battlefield positions are located as close as just 500 m away from residential quarters. Nonetheless, the city is taking efforts to recover from shellings and live on; local families are coming back. Today, Avdiyivka has nearly 21,500 residents, five schools have started work attended by around 1,350 school-aged children, as well as four kindergartens attended by around 450 pre-school children (data according to the Education Department of the Civil Affairs and Military Government of Avdiyivka, Donetsk Region). Other facilities have also resumed work, such as the local Music School and the Children and Youth Creative Centre that suffered structural damages in 2014 from direct shell hits, the Youth Sports School, the Iskorka Social Rehabilitation Centre for disabled children, and Avdiyivka City Central Hospital.

Children, who almost every day feel the effects of warlike activities and have to hide in underground shelters and cellars from shellfire, need special attention, assistance, psychological support and rehabilitation. Support is also needed for reconstruction of educational, cultural and healthcare institutions, to work at the full capacity with children, for children, distracting them from gloomy thoughts and stressful events.

In September 2016, United World Cultures Foundation was contacted by a number of children’s institutions of Avdiyivka requesting charitable assistance. These institutions need to do repair works, for which purpose they also require construction materials, as well as to renew furniture, educational equipment, etc.

During their first trip to Avdiyivka, UWCF team members brought gifts to and visited three institutions:

- Avdiyivka Comprehensive Primary and Secondary School No. 1,

- Music School (municipal primary specialized arts school) of Avdiyivka City Council,

- Children and Youth Creative Centre of Avdiyivka City Council.

The following material items have been passed on to these institutions:

- an alto saxophone to the music school;

- 10 drawing easels, 20 gouache sets, 15 paintbrush sets and 40 frames to arrange exhibitions of children’s paintings and handmade works, to the Children and Youth Creative Centre;

- an overhead projector, a mobile screen, 2 microscopes, 2 globes, 2 flashlights and 100 light bulbs to Avdiyivka Comprehensive Primary and Secondary School No. 1.

Total cost of the equipment handed over to the three institutions is UAH 42,611.

However, this is just a small fraction of what is needed by the above institutions and other children’s organizations in Avdiyivka. For this reason, United World Cultures Foundation calls particularly on producers of construction materials, school furniture, and all people who care, to help children of Avdiyivka to study in good conditions and attend various hobby groups, which will definitely have a positive effect on the psychological condition of little residents of Avdiyivka facing adverse life circumstances.