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[Ukraine]Autumn celebration in school where Peace Winds provided educational equipment

Autumn celebration was held at Motyzhyn Lyceum, the only school in the village of Motyzhyn, Bucha district, which was occupied by Russian Forces for a month, starting three days after Russian invasion of Ukraine last year. While some of the classrooms, which were burnt down by the Russian forces, still show scars, students enjoy their school life in renovated classrooms with brand new desks, chairs, electronic blackboards, whiteboards and musical keyboards provided by Peace Winds. We were able to see them engaged in their studies.




The visit happened to be the day of ‘Autumn Celebration’, where the children performed songs and dances that called for ‘autumn’ in a classroom decorated with autumn crafts made of fresh vegetables and fruits. Afterwards, they looked happy as they tucked into the many treats their parents had prepared for them.




The school building still bears the scars of the Russian occupation, including classrooms with the floor of the second floor still missing, which has not been repaired, and burnt-out sections in the corridors.

Meanwhile, in the classrooms that were renovated and for which Peace Winds provided desks, chairs and whiteboards, children were listening intently to math and history lessons. 8th grader Vladislav, who was in the history class, said that the desks and chairs that could be adjustable to his size were very comfortable and made it easy for him to study.



In the ‘Foreign Literature’ class, the teacher said, “The other day we read a Japanese story called ‘Issunboushi’.” The children said, “Yes, yes”, and told her what impressed them about the story, such as how the tiny man used a needle as a sword. According to the teacher, this class read stories from around the world, including India, China, Germany and the USA. She showed us Japanese works such as Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s The Spider’s Thread and Matsuo Basho’s haiku, which she said were in the textbook.



Even after the classrooms have been renovated and the educational equipment is in place, schools cannot reopen in Ukraine today unless shelters are in place, so Motyzhyn Lyceum has turned a place that used to be a rubbish dump into a shelter. Plants that were sown have sprouted, and from the outside, “it looks like a Hobbit’s house, doesn’t it?” laughs the director, Valeriia.



To ensure that the children are not cold when they escape to this shelter, Peace Winds provided them with a stove and a bio-toilet where micro-organisms decompose excrement even without water. Here in Motyzhyn, air raid warnings are frequent and teachers have to move to the shelter to continue teaching. The shelter is the result of the teachers’ desire to make the school as comfortable and safe as possible.



Peace Winds’ activities in Ukraine are funded by your donations and grants from Japan Platform. Thank you for your continuous support.

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