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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

Ukrainian (Ureignian) Children’s Art: A Plea for Peace

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The brutal onset of the recent Russian invasion has deeply shaken the nation of Ukraine and the lives of its people. It’s estimated that nearly 12.8 million Ukrainians have been displaced, including approximately 4.8 million children, almost two-thirds of the country’s entire child population.

Professor Ane Lemche, a psychologist and child counselor with the organization Save The Children in Denmark, commented on the suffering inflicted on children by war: “In the short term, some children will experience anxiety and stress, and definitely confusion, some of them loss of memory, loss of ability to concentrate and focus on things.”

One of the outlets and therapies that has proven effective in this regard is art. For this reason, many parents and volunteers have provided Ukrainian children with art supplies, hoping to help ease their anxiety.

Ukrainian couple Artem and Nastia Bykovetz and their six-year-old daughter Sonya fled Kyiv in February. They left their home but decided to stay in Ukraine. The parents can see how art has helped Sonya cope with her feelings about the war and its enormity. They created the online site UAKids, where art by children aged three to 18 is posted. Artem and Nastia are thus helping Ukrainian children recover from the trauma of war through art.

One of the food-aid deliveries was to a refugee center in Drohobych that currently houses one hundred children and thirty adults. To create hope and beauty in a dark situation, the center has converted its basement into an art space for the children staying there. The center’s delivery driver sent our team a video and pictures of the truly inspiring scene.

During many conferences with Supreme Master Television team members regarding the war in Ukraine, Supreme Master Ching Hai has expressed Her deep concern about the scars left by the conflict on the psyches of its innocent children. “Let’s pray for them, at least the children that they might recover their innocence and their optimism, and their enthusiasm to continue to experience a good world and education and look forward to a bright future. Because that will make their parents and grandparents happy too. And that will contribute to a peaceful energy for Ukraine and for wherever they go to take refuge at the moment, and to have hope that the war will end soon. Pray that they can return to their own land because there’s no place like home.”
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