I would like to introduce you to a couple of teenagers who have contributed to our project.
Losha, Dasha, Zhenya and Sasha.
For security reasons I can`t place portrait pictures of them unfortunately. Just contributing to our project could bring them in danger, besides this there are additional reasons that will be clear in the text below.
Losha is a young guy of 14, which has deeply moved us.
A cheerful, quiet boy who comes here every now and then.
When Pascal asked him if he did this voluntarily or had to of his parents was his answer that he wanted to.
A day later asked Pascal out of interest what he really wanted to do with his earned money, his reply has impressed us.
He gave the money to his parents so that they could put a decent meal on the table.
Something no child should be worried about, however, this for various children a daily reality.
Dasha is a cheerful girl of almost 14, a young girl who actually supposed to untroubled chat with her friends about the cute guys at school. However, Dasha visited us every free hour to peel walnuts.
In Netherlands they would call this child labor. However she does this out of free will, together with her mother to contribute to the family. There is some income in this large family, but not much.
Dasha is a girl with much sense of responsibility and takes care for the whole group.
Despite the language barrier she picks thing up very quickly and she knows exactly what needs to be done, she has managed the rest of the group together with her mother from the beginning and has helped tremendously. It's really a great girl that have a lot of potential in her. Intelligent, spontaneous, caring and curious.
Zhenya is the big 17 year old brother of Dasha who along with his sister and mother has spent many hours with us.
A silent young man, someone who observes and absorbs, someone who always think at others first.
A friendly, polite boy, a hard worker and he also does this for the family, for his younger brothers and sisters.
A smart young man with a great sense of responsibility, someone who can do a lot if he gets the chance.
Sasha has also spent every free our in the past couple of weeks with us.
Also in the family of Sasha they have not so much money to spent and he have worked very hard to be able to buy some new shoes for himself.
Very soon the leadership skills came through and he was the one who checked that everything was filled in alright, he did not hesitated to give us a slap on the wrist if we had committed an error.
Sasha is a quiet, intelligent, serious young man of 17 years, but also cheerful and spontaneous, he speaks up cases when he needs to, yet always be neat and polite.
Someone with enormous potential that with proper guidance can come a long way.
At least, if he is not in detention, this opportunity is present.
Sasha goes to his grandmother in Ukraine each summer to help her with the heavy chores like chopping wood.
However, he is soon to be 18 and hereby obligated to commit his military service in Ukraine, people who refuse to serve are being jailed.
What will happen with this good boy if he cross the border to go help his grandmother the next time?
All these teens are close to our hearts. Now, however, the prospect on their future is not so very good.
There is a high unemployment rate, something that was already a problem before the war.
Creating employment is one of our objectives. Relief supplies are good and necessary, but do not offer a permanent solution.
There is a whole generation ready who is willing to work hard, sensible people who in their young lives already have gained a lot of life experience, more than they should.
They deserve a chance for a good future.
From Donbass with Love
Ilse and Pascal