Shelled Donetsk orphanage thanked DONi News & Press with diploma
Editorial article for DONi NewsFriday, 20 November 2015
Special school nr. 28 in Donetsk is housing and teaching 142 children in Petrovsky district. Orphan school has been targeted several times by Ukrainian artillery strikes and DONi Press Center has taken part in going SaveDonbassPeople relief program to get new windows to children's education and housing units.
DONi director and chief-editor Janus Putkonen made his invited visit to the boarding school, which is working under the Education Ministry of the Donetsk People's Republic. Director of school, that was founded 52 years ago, Tatyana Arhipova, has worked 16 years in her post.
Recent times have been extremely difficult for school and its inhabitants, who make today altogether 142 children from 6 to 16 years old. Lack of resources and Ukrainian artillery strikes have made life and work very challenging. School and its infrastructure is offering housing, healthcare and education to orphans, children with special health or social problems, there is also place for 87 workers.
In school we saw marks from destruction, caused by Ukrainian artillery strikes. In the very same place where orphans sleep, you can still find traces of deadly fragments. Only great luck has saved school itself from direct victims. But war is all around the school and its people: "Our school driver lost his whole family when their home was destroyed by direct Ukrainian artillery strike. He lost everything, and now he is suffering from severe heart problems", I was told.
"One of the children, a young boy, who is living now safely in Russia, was visiting his home when his dog started to act very strangely. Boy went out of the house to the yard to look what was wrong with him, and just when he was inside the dog's box-house, a direct hit from the Ukrainian artillery shell totally destroyed his house and family. He survived, and his dog has saved him ", told Galina Sidorenko, a school library keeper.
"One of our students, Dima, who was 15-years old, was on holiday and he walked to the minefield. He died immediately from explosion and his friend next to him, very next day in hospital", she tells another touching story. And there were many more to listen, showing how community has to live with great tragedies and cruel realities.
Next project at school, after most windows are fixed to survive the cold season, is to get needed rooms for psychological treatment for traumatized children. We saw that construction work is already on its way.
"Feelings of children changed after war has started", said Sidorenko. "Children are much more interested in different kind of things around them. They have a very strong need to build friendship with different countries. Language is no barrier, they want to send pictures, greetings - to make people smile and happy, all over the world ", she said.
"We can not let fascism grow, we have to defend against it", said Sidorenko and showed us large shipments of new and used children's books, which have arrived as part of humanitarian aid from different part of Russia. Message is clear and everywhere: friendship, peace - "mir!"
DONi News Agency was accompanied by the French volunteers, who have been coordinating relief efforts with us. Children were singing and dancing and we were greeted by directors and teachers with a school's special diploma - with hundreds of thanks. School is working under the Education Ministry of the DPR, but it really needs help in these difficult times.
From the side of DONi, we know well who earned this gratitude to our direction, so thanks to good people, French donators, and specially Loran Joëlevitch and Erwan Castel.
DONi News Agency, Janus Putkonen, Director and Chief-Editor
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