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«We`ve always been told that good prevails over evil» — letters from pupils to children in occupation


On 1 June, International Children’s Day, Hromadske Radio and the Mama Jane Charitable Foundation prepared a joint project called «100 Words»: letters from schoolchildren in Kyiv Region to their peers who remain in the Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia and to those who have been taken far from their homes deep into Russia and separated from their parents and relatives.

According to the National Information Bureau of Ukraine, there are between 19,000 and several hundred thousand such children. However, the exact number remains unknown. Some of the authors of the «100 Words» project’s letters lived for several months under Moscow’s occupation in Kyiv Region and lost their relatives. Additionally, some students have parents at the frontline, defending Ukraine’s independence and protecting the lives of Ukrainian citizens.

Letters from schoolchildren in Kyiv Region will be aired on Hromadske Radio as a reminder that the Russian army and the occupation «authorities» are committing crimes against humanity. The project aims to increase international support and donations to help Ukrainian children suffering from the war and to bring all abducted and deported children back home.

Yaryna, 9th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«Hello, my friend!

My name is Yaryna. I am writing this letter to show you my support. It is very important to me that you know you are not alone. We are all thinking about you. I live in the heroic city of Irpin, and I am thirteen years old. What profession will I choose for myself? I ask myself this question more and more often. Perhaps I will be a doctor to help people and save lives, or an artist to bring beauty into the world. I know that you also dream of a profession. I really want us to keep going and not lose faith in ourselves and our common dreams.

A lot of people are working to bring peace back to Ukraine and to bring you back home. Let this letter remind you that you are important and valuable! Your dreams matter! And I believe that you can make them come true!

Yours, Yaryna. Come back home!»

Ksenia, 7th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«Recently, on the Day of Vyshyvanka, we prepared a flash mob with dance moves. It’s not my strong suit, but we succeeded on the first try to the song «Manifesto» by Artem Pyvovarov. The lyrics were: «These are our qualities of determination, the peculiarities of our nation…»

You know, these words resonate deeply in your heart. After all, determination is about you. We are thirteen years old, and in our lives, we have faced the most frightening moments many times. I want you to listen to the song «Manifesto» with me, instead of listening to the sound of rockets over Donetsk, the sound of KABs in one of Kharkiv’s districts, the sound of alarms in the Sumy region, the sound of Grad rockets near Zaporizhzhia.

We are thirteen years old, and we have always been told that good triumphs over evil. I believe it. And you should believe it too! Victory is coming soon. We will meet in peaceful cities, put on our best embroidered shirts, and remember those who helped us meet – our military.

Yours, Ksenia»

Nika from Irpin, 11 years old, 6th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«My name is Nika.

Dear friend, I hope this letter finds you safe and well. I know this is a very difficult time for you, and I want you to know that all of us here care about you very much and think about you every day. I remember how we used to spend time together in the yard, playing hide and seek and picking flowers for Mum. Those days were full of joy and laughter. We always dreamed of new adventures. I know that your heart is still filled with this lust for life.

These memories give us strength and faith that everything will be okay. I want you to know that we are doing everything we can to bring you home. We have not forgotten about you and we will never forget. You are our hero, and we are proud of your strength and courage. Please stay strong and do not lose hope. Your return to your homeland is near. May this letter bring you some warmth and hope in this difficult time.

With love and best wishes, Your Nika»

Makar from Bucha, 12 years old, 6th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«Dear friends!

Although we are far away from each other, we know that you are in a difficult situation, and we want you to know that you are not alone. We want you to know that there are people who care about you and are doing everything they can to bring you back to your families. You are strong and deserve the best!

We understand that this is not easy, and we cannot imagine what you are going through. But we believe in your strength and courage. Do not give up! It is important for us that you know that we are here to support you.

May your dreams be stronger than any obstacles, and may hope always be your companion. We believe in you and look forward to the day when you will be with your families again… Be strong!

With love, Your friends»

Mark, 6th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«Dear friend!

A sixth-grade student is writing to you. My name is Mark, and I go to school in Irpin, which was also once occupied for almost a month. I know it’s hard, but you are not alone. We are all thinking about you and believe that we will meet again soon. Hold on tight, do not lose hope and faith in your parents and friends. Remember that you are stronger than you look.

You just have to wait a little longer, and you will see your mum, dad, and your friends again. Your parents are doing everything they can to find you and bring you home. All your friends are always talking about your jokes and the wonderful stories that happened to us. Do you remember when we were attacked by a crow? How we stole cherries and ran away from Aunt Oksana? She promised that she would never scold us again, as long as you came back. We are here to support you.

With love and best wishes, Your Mark»

Maksym, 6th grade, TGI Academy, Irpin

«Dear children of a free and independent Ukraine!

A resident of Irpin is writing to you. I am a sixth-grade student. Our city knows firsthand the genocidal aggression of Russia. Our city has experienced the atrocities of war. Therefore, I may not fully understand, but I empathize with what you are feeling now. I also experienced a short but painful separation from my own father.

I assure you that we will defeat the vile enemy and reunite all the children of Ukraine with their native land, parents, and relatives. After all, for centuries, nothing has been more important to Ukrainians than their family and their native land.

I wish you to endure this difficult period of life with faith in your hearts.

Glory to Ukraine, Yours, Maxim»

Lusia, 10 years old, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«From Lucy to you!

Hello! My friend, though we are hundreds of kilometres apart, I can see your courage and beauty shining through. I can’t even imagine how you manage to survive in an occupied place. You are simply incredible! I hope you have someone to talk to. And if not, I wish you to find a good person.

Always remember that you are strong, courageous, brave, and cool. I also hope that all your cherished dreams come true.

Glory to Ukraine!»

Alisa, 4th grade, Idea School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Alisa. I am from Kyiv. I believe that you are a good and kind person. I really want Ukraine to win and become a free, independent, and prosperous country.

I pray that you and your family and friends are well. Take care of them! And don’t lose hope for the best, and take care of the people and animals around you.

Remember that we are with you, and try to withstand all kinds of adversity. The main thing is not to give up and remain true to yourself, not to betray your dreams and desires. I believe in the strength of your spirit and self-confidence. I wish you to enjoy every day! See you soon!»

Maria, 4th grade, Idea School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Maria. I know you are scared. But I believe that this war will end soon, and we will rejoice together when you return to a free Ukraine. May God bless you now, so that you are not afraid of this war.

God promised to always be with you. He will protect you, comfort you, and reassure you. So, know that you are not alone. I hope that we will meet soon. I am really looking forward to this meeting. I hope it will be soon. I hope that Ukraine will win!

And we will celebrate our victory together. See you in a free Ukraine!»

Oleksandr, 4th grade, 10 years old, Idea School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Sasha. We haven’t forgotten about you, and we believe in you. May God protect you and bless you! Today, the whole free Ukraine is waiting for you. I know that it is not easy for you where you are. I know you are strong, and no one can break you because your strength is inside you. And God is on your side. And I also pray for you every day!

I am very sorry that you have to go through such difficulties. But one day it will definitely end. Ukraine will win and be free! And one day we will meet and hug each other. I hope it will be very soon! Let this letter be your support!»

Tymofii, 10 years old, 4th grade, Idea School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Tymofii. I want my letter to be a support for you. We are far apart now, but I am with you in my thoughts. All of Ukraine is rooting for you and worrying about you, doing everything possible so that one day we can meet and rejoice together in Ukraine’s victory.

I dream of this meeting, and you should not lose hope, no matter what anyone says to you. Do not stop believing, no one can take your faith away from you, because it lives in your heart. I am praying for you, and you pray, because God hears our prayers. I hope that soon we will hug together as a friendly family called Ukraine.»

Myroslava, 11 years old, 5th grade, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Myroslava. Many people say that my name can be divided into two words – peace and glory. I understand that this is a very difficult time for you, and I want to support you. Understand that life is much longer than war. I understand how difficult it is for you. There are explosions all around, rockets, Shahids, and everything else.

Remember that heroes are not born, they are made. So when you are scared, try to close your eyes and imagine something pleasant. When you open your eyes, you will see that you are not alone. Be an example for adults and children. Always remember that every small step can bring victory closer.

Every day we pray for your safe release and for your lives. Remember, Ukraine cannot be broken as long as we have faith and love! Never forget about our native Ukraine and the Ukrainian language. Together we are strong! Glory to Ukraine!»

Zoryana, 10 years old, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Zoryana. I am sure we will meet soon and live in a free and prosperous Ukraine. I know how hard it is for you there, but we will fight with all the strength we have to stop the war. Because our Ukrainian hearts have always longed for freedom. You are a great guy, and I believe in you. Everything will be Ukraine!»

Nastya, 10 years old, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello! My name is Nastya, and I’m from Kyiv. I really want the war to end. I want all cities to be free and happy. We believe in our soldiers and defenders. My dad was also in the army, and I know how painful it is. We have to be strong for now, but everything will be fine soon. Glory to Ukraine!»

Ilya, 10 years old, 4th grade, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello! I know that it’s not easy for everyone at this time, especially for you in the occupied territories. We all believe that Ukraine will win. And it will definitely happen. Don’t give up, because there is support nearby, even if you may not see it.

All Ukrainians have an incredible talent — an unconquerable thirst for victory and peaceful blue skies.
Every Ukrainian is unique, just like you. Ukraine is unbreakable and will survive under any circumstances. When you feel scared, remember my words. Glory to Ukraine!»

Mark, 10 years old, 4th grade, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hi! How are you? I understand that you and your friends are in danger. However, I believe that Ukraine will win. I don’t know which occupied territory you are in, but I believe you will be able to hold out until help comes. We are coming soon! Mark»

Alex, 10 years old, 4th grade, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello, my friend!

I want you to live in an independent country – Ukraine. We will have holidays in Ukraine, live in Ukraine, and be in Ukraine. We hope that you will come home to Ukraine soon.
Glory to Ukraine!

Svyatozara, 10 years old, 4th grade, Atlantic School, Kyiv

«Hello! I’m Svyatozara, and I hope you’re doing well, even though we’re thousands of kilometers apart. I want to see you. I don’t care if you are a boy or a girl. You are my friend. The war will not last forever, and we will see each other soon. We will play together, walk, and relax. We will win! You will walk outside, play with your friends, and go to school. I hope everything will be fine with you.

Goodbye! Glory to Ukraine!»

Zlata, 4th grade, Idea School, Kyiv

«Hello, I’m Zlata.

Don’t worry, victory will come soon. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your loved ones. We are very sorry for you and believe that this will all end soon and peace will come. It is very important for us to preserve a united Ukraine. To do this, we need to preserve the language, culture, history, and free spirit of our people. That is why we study hard at school, because you and I have to build our country in the future.

God has not forgotten about you. He wants everything to change for the better. I am waiting for you to come back to a free Ukraine. I pray for this. We believe in victory. Let these words warm you with our love for you».

Contributed to the project:

  • Co-coordinator of the project – Oleh Klymchuk, host of Hromadske Radio
  • Co-coordinator of the project – Jane Alieva, co-founder of the Mama Jane Foundation.
  • Editing of the text version – Olena Rebryk, editor-in-chief of Hromadske Radio
  • Project coordination in social media – Lina Machulska, Head of SMM
  • Sound: sound engineers Iryna Nyzhnyk, Yevhen Hlibov and Yulia Sohanchi
  • Project co-coordinator – Ana More, executive producer and host of Hromadske Radio

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