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Ukrainian Youth Help War-Stricken Communities in a Fun Way

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Ukrainian youth decides to help the country’s communities rebuild their homes and other infrastructure in a fun and enjoyable way.

Hanna Yurchenko, a 66-year-old Ukrainian, sees her destroyed home one afternoon. The structure got hit by Russian bombs on March 7. As she walks past her home, she can’t help but tear over what was once her humble abode. Thankfully, the initiative, begun by her country’s young men and women, sparked hope in her.

“I’m retired, and I can’t do this cleanup myself. I’m just so grateful for these kids,” she said as she wiped her tears off her face.

The volunteers are aged between 20 and 30. The “kids” understand the gloomy setting of realizing the damage the Russian-Ukrainian conflict inflicted upon both sides. However, they try to finish the job in a light mood. And they do it by dancing and laughing as they work through the rubbles, bringing a Bluetooth speaker.

Ukrainian for Repair Together

The young Ukrainians volunteer for Repair Together. Young citizens make up the organization, raising money to aid Ukrainian communities. With the money they collect, Repair Together allocates it to the impoverished and the needy, especially those who lost their homes due to the war.

According to the program organizers, Repair Together aims to revitalize the sense of community among Ukrainian youth and, by extension, the whole country. Seven months of war caused pain and hopelessness among the nation’s citizens. However, Repair Together reignites that hope and a better outlook for the war-stricken communities.

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Helping with a smile

The organization recently traveled to Kolychivka near Chernihiv City to extend its help. Earlier in the war, Russia destroyed several areas in the region. So Roman Tarasiuk, 27, finds himself on top of a trailer, dancing to the tunes playing from their speakers as he empties a bucket full of debris to throw. The Ukrainian lost his job during the war, and now he decided to join Repair Today.

“Volunteering in Ukraine it’s become a way of our everyday life. We all just want to feel useful,” he said.

Meanwhile, Viktoria Sitovska, 20, holds the shovel, cleaning the nearby debris while she dances to the music. When the war began, she traveled back to Ukraine from Germany. Today, she joined the organization to help others in need. According to her, the jolly mood of the volunteers is necessary.

“Right now, we all feel anger and a lot of destructive emotions. Listening to music keeps us balanced, so we can keep working,” the young Ukrainian said.

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Ukrainian friends helping each other out

The war between Russia and Ukraine undeniably defaced many communities. The damage displaced many. As a result, young Ukrainians started to volunteer, reaching out to the community. This marked the start of Repair Together. However, at the time, their number was too small, and too many communities needed the help. Subsequently, friends called on other friends, who called other friends as well. As a result, the network grew larger, so the Ukrainians formed the organization.

“Some people say, come on, you can’t have fun, it’s a war! But I say, we’re doing something good. Why can’t we also have fun?” said Marina Hrebinna, 34, one of the organizers.

“We’re not builders, yeah? We’re just normal people. But we have our bodies, we have our arms, we have our health,” she added.

Photo Credit: Pete Kiehart 

Source: NPR

Brandon Foster is a multimedia reporter. He covers a variety of topics.

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