“My students are my inspiration and air“

Svitlana, Kyiv Oblast, 02.04.2022

“My students are my inspiration and air“

Good day,

I am safe.

As the war started, I had to relocate from the village of (Kyiv region) to my husband’s parents in Zhytomyr region, to a village 100 kilometres away from [...] (the explosions outside were rather convincing). FEAR, SADNESS. Yes, I am not home, but the family, fresh air, the open space around me and my favourite gardening are here. THE SUPPORT. Almost for two months, we have been hearing the air-raid sirens, although there were no active military actions and missile attacks here. Everyone is joining the volunteer force. AIR-RAID SIREN. Over 6500 internally displaced people have been registered in the community (and over 4000 more have relocated unofficially). I hear the stories of the displaced from Irpin and Bucha about the atrocities committed by the Russian soldiers towards the civilians. With fear, I hope that occupation and “Russian world” will not come to our or other villages of Ukraine and also from the bottom of my heart I wish to everyone, who is convinced that russia is carrying a military operation,and not a full-scale war, to have SUCH peace at their homes - with looters, rapists, mass shootings of civilians, destruction of infrastructure. ANGER. I am watching the news. The Ukrainian army is liberating the occupied cities, towns and villages. I believe in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and our President more than I believe in God. PRIDE. Often my family and loved ones choose to go abroad for their children, like my daughter-in-law Tania with my nephew Matviiko. I cry every time, even though I understand that this is safer - families separate, some of them will not get back to normal living. Many children and adults got a trauma for the rest of their lives - some of them saw their neighbours or family members getting shot, some of them will remember the explosions outside, some sat in basements without water and food waiting to be liberated. UNSPEAKABLE PITY. Over the last month I got offers of help from the closest people, as well as from strangers (I was surprised that some of the people whom I considered close friends were not intervening) - some offered to help with money, some - with accommodation, some simply by asking “How are you? Are you in safety?” I am watching the comprehensive international support of Ukraine. GRATEFULNESS. I work. I have been teaching my students online since 27.02. We communicate a lot. My students are my inspiration and air. At first, I wanted to cry when they were connecting to the online classes from their bathrooms, in the centre of Kyiv, in 2022!!! (as a safety measure in case of the bombings by teh Russian army). We communicate with my colleagues, we want to go to work, offline, to our life as it was before. We are all each others’ present and future. LIFE.

I have transferred the 1600 hryvnias I received from Centropa to the family of the fallen defender of Ukraine, a resident of Zarudyntsi village of Ruzhynsky raion, Zhytomyr region, junior sergeant [...], born in 1991. He died on March 20, 2022, close to the town of Izium, Kharkiv region in the course of repelling the attack of Russian tanks, while he was heroically defending the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. Two small children became orphans, who now are in need of financial and moral support.

In the future, I could be transferring the support to the army, volunteers, those in need and I will definitely report about the transferred money.

With respect,