“The Colors of War,” a drawing project of children in Izmail,* Ukraine.
What do children of war in Ukraine dream about, how do they differ from their peers?
Too often their drawings of the reality of war reveal bitterness, pain and an adult understanding of the life.
The drawing of 12-year-old Anastasia from Nikolaev is especially painful. A heart pierced by a rocket with the symbolic sign of the Nazis "Z". In the blood from the heart, victims of destruction flow: adults and children, the innocents of Ukraine. The inscription "No to war" can be read as - Never again ...
Eleven-year-old Ksenia draws her story – how together, with her mother and brother, they lived for two weeks in the basement, under constant shelling from tanks and rockets.
Veronica from the Donetsk region drew an evacuation train in Kramatorsk, which on April 8 was hit by rockets from Russian aircraft. Fifty-two people died, about 100 were seriously injured.
The symbol of the tragedy in the Dnieper was a dog named Crimea. On September 30, a rocket flew right into the house where a family lived with two children, a mother and a grandmother. All died. When rescuers arrived at the scene of the explosion, a red dog was lying on the rubble of the house. He howled in sorry; tears flowed from his eyes. This is the story that is told.
The very grown-up drawing of 13-year-old Anton is disturbs us with his imagination of the difference between war and peace. He depicts an aircraft: one half in peacetime, the other half - burning from a Russian missile hit.
Four-year-old Matvey simply scribbled a sheet of paper in red pencil and clumsily wrote - Mariupol .... A city that simply did not exist after the bombings and invasion of the Russian army.
Sophia, age 10, draws her brother working on a computer while a rocket shatters the glass as it enters his bedroom.
Diana, age 9
A mother and child watch their home burning. Matthew, age 12
Michael, age 14, and his dog watch their apartment building and the grocery store burn
Twelve-year-old Masha drew a Russian tank driving into the playground where children are at play.
Anastasia, age 13 draws the administration building in the city center, a rocket stuck in the concrete.
Sometimes the youngest children draw favorite vacation spots now destroyed, tanks and rockets that they saw with their own eyes.
Each drawing is a story. The story of the children of Ukrainian, full of pain, bitterness and tears.
Our foundation works to treat the trauma of these children. With games, small groups, creativity, music, happy moments, and healthy community, they experience hope and love.
After all, love and kindness always win .... Do you also think so?
Text by Olya Balaban, Director of Programs in Ukraine for This Child Here
*These are children families displaced by the war in Ukraine, who have come with (mostly, only with mothers) as far west as possible and still stay in Ukraine.